How consumers view the JD Power Report

Essay by msbonnielaneUniversity, Master'sA+, July 2005

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Webster defines 'quality' as "Having a high degree of excellence" or "an inherent or distinguishing characteristic". But some consumers define quality under different standards. When it comes to car buying, some consider the 2,000 page JD Power report the bible of the car industry. This report states the ranking system of car manufacturers every year. "It is particularly useful for advertisers wishing to target owners of specific types of cars, trucks/SUV's or imported vehicle owners in the USA."

Some manufacturers spend millions in upgrades to factories and designs in order to make or improve their score on the JD Power List. (White and Shirouzu) The survey (on which they base their report) is sent to almost 200,000 new car buyers upon the first ninety days of ownership. The contents of the survey covers whether the car was purchased or leased, other vehicles they considered purchasing, what other household vehicles they owned, demographics and lifestyle aspects.

From floor mats to engine malfunctions, the survey asks owners about the possible little problems they have encountered to their biggest complaints. Last year a primary complaint included "excessive fuel consumption" (White and Shirouzu). This was not surprising seeing that over the last few years SUV sales have been steadily increasing along with gas prices. Some consumers gauge JD's initial quality report on what they will buy that year, while others who are looking for long-term durability are left to assume. "Just because a vehicle performs well in initial quality, it may not perform as well in long-term durability, and vice versa." (White and Shirouzu) The report does not cover vehicles that score well in durability.

Not only do the findings of JD Power and Associates give car manufacturers certain bragging rights but it also raises the value of their cars. How many times have...