TOPS IN QUALITY: Porsche is tops in quality for the third consecutive year, according to the JD Power and Associates' survey. Image: Porsche
DETROIT, Michigan - The quality of cars and trucks made by European, Korean and US companies has improved so much in recent years that Japanese automakers, long the industry standard, are having trouble keeping pace.
Consultants JD and Associates' found that, despite continued problems with entertainment and connectivity systems, auto industry quality was improving.
A 2015 JD brand quality survey reported that for the first time since 2012 buyers reported fewer problems in new cars and trucks than the previous year.
'QUALITY OUT OF THE BOX'
JD Power's senior vice-president, John Humphreys, said: "The cars being built, for the most part, are very good quality coming out of the box."
The survey covered buyers of 2015 models.
The industry score increased because many companies improved existing models and top automakers "performed better with mechanical and infotainment quality of new models", the survey showed.
The survey of more than 84 000 car buyers through February and March found that Porsche remained the top brand for quality for the third year in a row.
JD Power's top brands for quality
KOREAN ON THE RISE
Humphreys said Korean automakers had been improving for years; while Japanese automakers had improved their overall score the rest of the industry had improved more quickly.
Korean brands led the industry with only 90/100 vehicles, 11 fewer than in 2014. European automakers followed with 113 problems, beating Japanese brands for the first time.
Japanese automakers recorded 114/100, an improvement of two over 2014. Its result tied with US automakers' score.
The industry average was 112/100, four better than 2014. For the first time in the 29-year history of the survey Japanese automakers fell below the industry average: only four of 10 Japanese automakers showed an improvement.
Humphreys said: "There's a shift in terms of who is doing the best in industry leadership."
The shift, he said, was significant because Japanese brands promoted quality and reliability but that advantage was eroding.
The survey is the first major assessment of quality for 2015 vehicles.
• Winners and losers: Porsche, which won for the third consecutive year, reported 80 problems/100 vehicles. Fiat was the worst of 33 brands with 161.
• Most improved: Infiniti climbed 18 spots to fifth in the ranking with 97 problems.
• Biggest slide: Chrysler fell 19 spots with 143 problems.
• Best corporate performance: General Motors, Hyundai, Nissan and VW had four winners in the segment awards.