Note added June 26, 2020 » This should have been a good news story for both Kia and Dodge. Instead the media (including this site) is focused on Tesla’s terrible ranking.
J.D. Power’s Initial Quality Study, now in its 34th year, examines problems experienced by purchasers and lessees of new 2020 model-year vehicles during the first 90 days of ownership. According to J.D. Power, Initial Quality has proven to be an excellent predictor of long-term reliability, which has a significant impact on owner satisfaction and brand loyalty.
This is the first time a Detroit automaker topped the list in 34 years. The Dodge Durango and Dodge Challenger models both scored very high in their segments.
Kia tied Dodge and maintained its six-year streak as top-ranked auto brand.
Tesla, which outdid perennially bottom-ranked Land Rover, has traditionally refused to cooperate with outside researchers like J.D. Power. Perhaps we now understand more the reasons for this.
The J.D. Power IQS results vindicate the many reports from owners, journalists, and analysts concerning Tesla’s persistent production quality issues. J.D. Power is well respected in the industry.
While Tesla has focused on being first to market, the short term, it has created long-term problems. The company has a long documented history of severe quality issues. (CNBC » Build fast, fix later: Speed hurts quality at Tesla, some workers say)
That mindset doesn’t appear to have changed as the newest Model Y is experiencing many of the same difficulties and widespread defects that have afflicted earlier models.
Hype and being first to market has proven profitable for Elon Musk and shareholders, and they have built up a fan base. However, if Tesla does not improve quality, they will not be able to grow their base into paying customers at a time when other manufacturers with much better reputations for quality products are rapidly bring EVs to market.
Tesla is not about to go the way of Edsel any time soon. But just as there will always be a market of Land Rover, there will always be a fans of Tesla.
The Dodge brand, long a quality laggard, surged to take the top spot in the 2020 Power IQS, tying Kia, while toppling traditional benchmarks including Korea’s Genesis, Japan’s Lexus and Germany’s Porsche.
If anything, Porsche plunged to the lower quartile in the latest quality study, while Lexus and Genesis also slid sharply down the list. But no one fared more poorly than Tesla. Covered for the first time in the IQS, the California EV maker was, by far, posted an industry-worst score, underscoring recent reports of endemic quality issues impacting its line-up and, in particular, the new Model Y battery-SUV.