J.D. Power ranks GM tops in quality for first time

  @CNNMoney June 19, 2013: 3:27 PM ET
jd power initial quality survey
NEW YORK (CNNMoney)

For the first time General Motors is the car company with the best quality, according to J.D. Power & Associates' annual automotive survey released Wednesday.

It was a significant accomplishment for a company whose questionable vehicle quality in the past was part of what put it on a path of steady market share declines, financial losses and eventually a 2009 bankruptcy and federal bailout.

"This is a huge milestone, especially in light of the bankruptcy," said Michelle Krebs, senior analyst with Edmunds.com.

GM was ranked seventh in the rankings last year. It was helped by its GMC truck brand, which went from 12th place to 2nd in overall quality among the various auto nameplates, and Chevrolet, which jumped from 15th to 5th. It was the first time those two nameplates were among the top five brands ranked by Power.

Related: See all of J.D. Power's top quality cars

Krebs said the turnaround in quality for GM (GM, Fortune 500) and its domestic rivals Ford Motor (F, Fortune 500) and Chrysler Group started a number of years before GM and Chrysler fell into bankruptcy. But that it's taken a while to change car buyer's opinion. The rankings are based upon surveys of owners of each model cars.

"Perception is finally catching up with reality," she said.

Related: How valid are car brand rankings?

But she said several of the cars that scored particularly well on the quality survey are in their final year before a major redesign, including the Cadillac Esclade, Chevy Tahoe GMC Silverado and GMC Sierra. The new Chevy Impala is already out, but the survey was on the previous model. Redesigned vehicles are important for building sales, but they can introduce new quality problems.

"It'll be important for them to launch their replacements well or they'll lose their No. 1 spot," she said.

Related: GM recalling 194,000 SUVs

Volkswagen's Porsche brand was the nameplate with the best score in the survey.

Chevy Impala: Seriously, 'It rocks'

Not surprisingly GM said it was thrilled by the honor.

"Nothing energizes us more than receiving the verification of quality from our customers," said Alicia Boler-Davis, vice president global quality and U.S. customer experience for the company. To top of page



Join the Conversation
Find Your Next Car

Get the latest car news:

CNNMoney Sponsors
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.