J.D. Power and Associates Reports: BMW Ranks Highest in Automotive Initial Quality in South Africa

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, Dec. 6 /PRNewswire/ — For the first time since the inception of the study in 2004, BMW ranks highest in initial quality among passenger vehicle nameplates in South Africa, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2007 South Africa Initial Quality Study(SM) (IQS) released today.

The study is a customer-driven measure of problems experienced during the first three to seven months of ownership and examines 228 individual problem symptoms across nine factors: vehicle exterior; the driving experience; features/controls/displays; audio/entertainment/navigation; seats; heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC); vehicle interior; engine/transmission; and other problems. All problems are identified as the number reported per 100 vehicles (PP100), with lower scores indicating fewer problems and therefore better quality.

With 142 PP100, BMW earns the highest rank among passenger vehicle nameplates. Honda (145 PP100) follows BMW in the rankings. Rounding out the top five are Subaru (147 PP100), Mercedes-Benz (163 PP100) and Volvo (174 PP100).

“BMW has made steady improvements in quality over the past couple of years, which are reflected in its climb from ranking third in 2005 to the top rank in 2007,” said Brian Walters, vice president of J.D. Power and Associates Europe, Middle East and Africa operations.

The Mercedes-Benz East London passenger vehicle assembly plant that produces the Mercedes-Benz C-Class leads other South Africa plants in initial quality, with 103 PP100. Vehicle assembly plants are ranked based solely on the number of defects and malfunctions in vehicles produced at the plant.

“The Mercedes-Benz East London plant was recently retooled to produce left-hand drive vehicles, which are exported to the United States,” said Walters. “It is particularly impressive that this plant, in the face of major changes to its production line, has been able to produce vehicles of such outstanding quality.”

Read full story at CNN.com

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