Genesis, Kia, and Hyundai - the brands of South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Group - topped J.D Power’s new vehicle quality study, raising hopes for improved sales of the Korean brands in the U.S. market.
According to the Initial Quality Study (IQS) released by U.S-based J.D Power on Thursday, Genesis ranked the highest in its annual quality study among 31 auto brands with a score of 68. Its siblings Kia and Hyundai ranked second and third, respectively.
J.D. Power IQS is measured by the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles during the first 90 days of ownership, with a lower score reflecting fewer problems. The study results are widely used by American consumers as a new car purchasing guideline on top of being used as a key quality comparison index.
It is the first time for the Korean auto giant’s brands to claim all top three spots in the study. Industry observers expected the results would help improve the image of the Hyundai brands and their sales in the U.S. market where they have been grappling with plunging sales amid a lack of new cars and fierce competition.
By segment, Genesis 90 was crowned as the best large luxury sedan. Genesis 80 ranked the second in the midsize premium car category and earned the best premium brand title. The Korean automaker launched Genesis luxury car brand in November 2015 to win the global luxury car market and released Genesis as a standalone brand in the U.S. in August 2016.
Kia, which ranked second in the overall segment this year with a score of 72, topped the mass market brand category for the fourth year in a row. Its mid-sized sports utility vehicle Sorento ranked top in the respective category and compact sedan Rio earned the highest score in the small car segment. Its four other cars - K3, K5, Sportage, and Carnival - ranked second to deliver a total of six outstanding quality honors to the automaker.
Hyundai was named the second-best in the mass market car category with a score of 74, highest-ever for the company. It moved up two notches from the fourth in the previous year.
By Kang Young-woon and Cho Jeehyun
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]