Kia Motors has been rated number one for quality in the J.D. Power 2016 Initial Quality Study (IQS) in the United States (U.S.), the first time in 27 years that a non-premium brand has topped the rankings. The IQS assesses customer feedback on 33 makes on sale in the U.S. Kia performed well across its model range, securing segment-topping ratings for the Sportage and Soul models in their respective categories, as well as top-three placements for the Rio, Forte and Sorento.
“Ranking number one in the entire industry for initial quality is the result of a decade-long focus on craftsmanship and continuous improvement, and reflects the voice of our customers, which is the ultimate affirmation,” said Michael Sprague, chief operating officer and EVP, Kia Motors America.
As Kia’s U.S. sales have consistently grown over the last four years to surpass the 600,000 annual unit mark, so too has the brand’s performance in J.D. Power’s Initial Quality Study. After entering the overall top 10 for the first time in 2013, Kia placed second in the industry and led all non-premium makes in IQS in 2015.
Sales success in the U.S. has been mirrored in Europe, where Kia Motors sold 39,445 cars in May, representing year-on-year growth of 15.9% compared to the same month in 2015. So far this year Kia has sold 188,329 cars across Europe, up 15% and a best-ever figure that keeps Kia on course for record sales through 2016.
One of Kia Motors’ best-selling cars in Europe, the Sportage, recently passed Auto Motor und Sport’s rigorous two-year reliability test without producing a single fault. The German automotive enthusiast magazine challenged Kia’s famous quality credentials with a 100,000-kilometre endurance test.
Now in its 30th year, the annual J.D. Power IQS analyses responses from vehicle owners in 26 segments. IQS is determined by vehicle owners evaluating the driving experience, engine and transmission performance, and a broad range of quality-related problems within the first 90 days of ownership.