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News of  May 05, 2000


J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Findings: Auto Industry Takes Another Step Forward in Advancing Quality Despite
Increasing Production Demands

Toyota, Lexus Models Top Eight of 14 Segments;
NUMMI (car) Receives North American Gold Plant Award

AGOURA HILLS, Calif. - The automotive industry shows a second consecutive year of quality improvement despite record sales that have increased production demands, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2000 Initial Quality Study(SM) released today. The overall industry average shows a 5 percent reduction in reported problems over last year's results - the same percentage improvement shown in the 1999 study.

"While increased demands on the assembly process have raised the potential for problems in new vehicles, manufacturers seem more determined than ever to deliver vehicles with the best possible quality," said George Owens, manager of product research at J.D. Power and Associates.

Additionally, many of the redesigned models for the 2000 model year show fewer problems than their predecessors. "Historically, redesigned models pose challenges to even the most quality focused manufacturers," Owens said. "However, 60 percent of the models redesigned for the 2000 year performed better than the models they replaced, compared with only 29 percent in 1999. Some of the standouts for 2000 include the Toyota Avalon and Nissan Maxima."

While many of the models redesigned for 1999 followed the industry trend of increased problems in their first year of production, these models show strong improvement in 2000. For example, the Porsche 911 improves 46 percent and tops its segment, the Honda Odyssey improves 31 percent and ranks in the top three in the compact van segment and the Acura TL improves 29 percent and ranks second in the entry luxury segment.

Toyota Motor Corporation captures a total of eight of 14 segment awards in the study. The Lexus LS 400 continues to set the standard for all models in initial quality, earning the distinction as the Best Premium Luxury Car for the fourth year in a row. The Toyota Avalon, Corolla, Land Cruiser, Sienna and Toyota Tundra each top their segments along with the Lexus ES 300 and LX 470.

A look at manufacturing plants shows a first-ever Gold Plant Quality Award for Jaguar with the Browns Lane (car) plant ranking highest among European plants. Toyota dominates the overall plant results, taking the Worldwide Platinum Plant Quality Award and sweeping North America with three additional awards, including a Gold Plant Quality Award for its joint-venture with General Motors, NUMMI (car). The Kyushu, Japan (car) plant is the recipient of the Platinum Plant Quality Award for the assembly plant producing vehicles with the fewest problems of all plants serving U.S. consumers. Toyota's Georgetown (car) and Cambridge (car) plants receive Silver and Bronze Quality Awards, respectively.

The Initial Quality Study is based on responses from more than 47,000 purchasers and lessees of new 2000 model-year vehicles and monitors the number of reported problems consumers experience in the first 90 days of ownership. The study has been the industry standard benchmark of initial vehicle quality since 1987 and is based on problems-per-100 vehicles covering 135 specific problem areas.

J.D. Power and Associates 2000 Initial Quality Study(SM)

Top Three Vehicles Per Segment

Car Segments Truck Segments
Compact Car Compact Pickup
Best: Toyota Corolla Best: Mazda B-Series
Chevrolet Prizm GMC Sonoma
Mitsubishi Mirage Chevrolet S-10 Pickup
Entry Midsize Car Fullsize Pickup
Best: Plymouth Breeze Best: Toyota Tundra
Chevrolet Malibu F-150 Light Duty
Dodge Stratus F-250 Super Duty
Premium Midsize Car Mini Sport Utility Vehicle
Best: Toyota Avalon Best: Honda CR-V
Toyota Camry Toyota RAV4
Nissan Maxima Subaru Forester
Sporty Car Compact Sport Utility Vehicle
Best: Acura Integra Best: Nissan Pathfinder
Honda Prelude Mercury Mountaineer
Dodge Avenger Toyota 4Runner
Entry Luxury Car Fullsize Sport Utility Vehicle
Best: Lexus ES 300 Best: Toyota Land Cruiser
Acura TL Ford Expedition
Infiniti I30 Chevrolet Suburban GMT800
Premium Luxury Car Luxury Sport Utility Vehicle
Best: Lexus LS 400 Best: Lexus LX 470
Acura RL Infiniti QX4
Lexus GS Sedan Lexus RX 300
Sports Car Compact Van
Best: Porsche 911 Best: Toyota Sienna
Honda S2000 Plymouth Voyager
Chevrolet Corvette Honda Odyssey
  Source: J.D. Power and Associates 2000 Initial Quality Study(SM)


2000 Assembly Plant Awards (Based on Vehicles Produced for U.S. Market)

Platinum Award: Toyota -- Kyushu, Japan (Car)

North America:

  • NUMMI -- Fremont (Car) -- Gold
  • Toyota -- Georgetown (Car) -- Silver
  • Toyota -- Cambridge (Car) -- Bronze
  • Jaguar -- Browns Lane (Car) -- Gold
  • Europe Porsche -- Stuttgart (Car) -- Silver
  • BMW -- Dingolfing (Car) -- Bronze


  • Toyota -- Tahara (Car) -- Silver
  • Honda -- Sayama (Car) -- Bronze

Source: J.D. Power and Associates 2000 Initial Quality Study(SM)

(May 4, 2000)


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