J.D. Power and Associates and CAR Magazine Report: Initial Quality Gap Between Passenger Vehicles and Pickup Trucks Improves Notably in 2010

By J.d. Power And Associates, PRNE
Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Models from Chevrolet, Honda, Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Volkswagen and Volvo Each Rank Highest in Initial Quality in South Africa in their Respective Segments; Mercedes-Benz East London Assembly Plant Ranks Highest among Manufacturing Plants

JOHANNESBURG, January 19, 2011 - New-vehicle quality in South Africa has improved considerably, with the
quality gap between passenger vehicles and pickup trucks narrowing by more
than 50 percent in 2010, compared with 2008, according to the J.D. Power and
Associates/CAR Magazine 2010 South Africa Initial Quality Study(SM) (IQS)
released today.

(Logo: photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20050527/LAF028LOGO-a)

"The improvement in new-vehicle quality is due to a combination of
widespread improvement in existing models and the phasing out of old designs
that had lower levels of initial quality," said Brian Walters, vice president
of J.D. Power and Associates Europe and Africa research operations.

The study is a customer-driven measure of problems experienced during the
first three to seven months of ownership, and examines 228 individual problem
symptoms across nine factors: vehicle exterior; the driving experience;
features/controls/displays; audio/entertainment/navigation; seats; heating,
ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC); vehicle interior;
engine/transmission; and other problems. All problems are identified as the
number reported per 100 vehicles (PP100), with lower scores indicating fewer
problems and better quality.

Among passenger-vehicle models, initial quality averages 184 PP100 in
2010, compared with 245 PP100 in 2008. Similar gains are demonstrated among
pickup truck models, with initial quality averaging 227 PP100 in 2010,
compared with 333 PP100 in 2008. While initial quality is still higher for
passenger vehicles, on average, compared with pickup trucks, the gap between
the two segments has narrowed from 88 PP100 in 2008 to 43 PP100 in 2010.

"Based on international measuring standards, the J. D. Power and
Associates Initial Quality Study is seen as the global benchmark of such
studies, as it represents the voice of the customer," said Hannes Oosthuizen,
editor of CAR Magazine. "Car Magazine is delighted to cover these IQS
research results with its readers."

2010 IQS Ranking Highlights

Models that receive initial quality awards are as follows:

    - Lower small car segment: Honda Jazz (for a sixth consecutive time)
    - Lower compact car segment: Hyundai i10
    - Upper small car segment: Volkswagen Jetta
    - Medium car segment: Mercedes-Benz C-Class
    - Compact SUV segment: Nissan X-Trail
    - Medium SUV segment: Volvo XC60
    - Compact pickup segment: Chevrolet Corsa Utility

The Mercedes-Benz East London assembly plant that produces the
Mercedes-Benz C-Class ranks highest among South Africa plants in initial
quality for a third consecutive year. Vehicle assembly plants are ranked
based solely on the number of defects and malfunctions in vehicles produced
at the plant. Following the Mercedes-Benz East London assembly plant in the
plant rankings are the Toyota Prospecton and GM Struandale plants.

With 103 PP100, Mercedes-Benz ranks highest among passenger-vehicle
nameplates. Honda (121 PP100) follows Mercedes-Benz in the rankings. Rounding
out the top five are Audi (133 PP100), BMW (138 PP100) and Mazda (142 PP100).

The study finds that the number of quality problems experienced has a
direct impact on customer recommendation rates. Among customers who
experience one or no problems, 82 percent say they "definitely would"
recommend their vehicle to a friend, relative or colleague. Among customers
who report two or more problems, the recommendation rate declines to 57

Since its launch in the United States in 1987, the IQS has become a
quality standard used by virtually every automotive manufacturer around the
world. In addition to South Africa, J.D. Power and Associates conducts the
IQS in nine other markets: China, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia,
Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The 2010 South Africa Initial Quality Study is based on a representative
sample of more than 7 700 new-vehicle owners who purchased their vehicles
between November 2009 and June 2010. The study was funded entirely by J.D.
Power and Associates as part of its global research programs, in co-operation
with the Department of Transport (DOT) and the Road Traffic Management
Corporation (RTMC), and includes a section of questions to assist the
authorities in measuring the performance of its vehicle and drivers licensing

    Initial Quality Nameplate Ranking-Passenger Vehicles
    Problems per 100 Vehicles
    (Lower score reflects better quality performance)

    Mercedes-Benz                                                103
    Honda                                                        121
    Audi                                                         133
    BMW                                                          138
    Mazda                                                        142
    Kia                                                          145
    Volvo                                                        145
    Suzuki                                                       147
    Toyota                                                       172
    Hyundai                                                      179
    Land Rover                                                   184
    Passenger Vehicle Segment Average                            184
    Volkswagen                                                   193
    Chevrolet                                                    200
    Daihatsu                                                     200
    Ford                                                         212
    Nissan                                                       260
    Renault                                                      285

    NOTE: The passenger vehicle segment includes car and SUV models only.
    Included in the study, but not ranked due to small sample size are:
    Chery, Chrysler, Citroen, Dodge, Fiat, Geely, GWM, Jaguar, Jeep, Lexus,
    MINI, Mitsubishi, Opel, Peugeot and Tata.

    Initial Quality Nameplate Ranking-Pickup Trucks
    Problems per 100 Vehicles
    (Lower score reflects better quality performance)

    Toyota                                                       165
    Opel                                                         200
    Isuzu                                                        216
    Pickup Truck Segment Average                                 227
    Ford                                                         264
    Nissan                                                       288

    NOTE: The pickup truck segment includes compact pickup truck and one-ton
    pickup truck (single and double cab) models only.
    Included in the study, but not ranked due to small sample size are: BAW,
    Chevrolet, Fiat, GWM, Hyundai, Kia, Mazda, Mitsubishi and Tata.

    Top Vehicles per Segment in Initial Quality

    Lower Compact Car
    Hyundai i10                                                  130
    Chevrolet Spark                                              170

    Lower Small Car
    Honda Jazz                                                   100
    Mazda 2                                                      120
    Opel Corsa                                                   122

    Upper Small Car
    Volkswagen Jetta                                             113
    Audi A3                                                      130
    Mercedes-Benz A-Class                                        130

    Medium Car
    Mercedes-Benz C-Class                                         97
    Audi A5                                                       98

    Compact SUV
    Nissan X-Trail                                               112
    Volkswagen Tiguan                                            121
    Honda CR-V                                                   125

    Medium SUV
    Volvo XC60                                                   127
    Toyota Land Cruiser Prado                                    184

    Compact Pickup
    Chevrolet Corsa Utility                                      163
    Opel Corsa Utility                                           200

    NOTE: For an award to be presented, there must be a minimum of three
    models with sufficient sample in a given vehicle segment. In addition,
    rankable models must account for at least 67 percent of a vehicle
    segment's sales. These criteria are not met, and thus, no awards are
    presented in the following segments: upper compact car; lower luxury
    car; lower sports car; compact MPV; large MPV; luxury SUV; one-ton
    single cab/extended cab pickup and one-ton double cab pickup.

About J.D. Power and Associates

Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a
global marketing information services company operating in key business
sectors including market research, forecasting, performance improvement, Web
intelligence and customer satisfaction. The company's quality and
satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers
annually. For more information on car reviews and ratings, car insurance,
health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit JDPower.com.
J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

About The McGraw-Hill Companies

Founded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP) is a global
information and education company providing knowledge, insights and analysis
in the financial, education and business information sectors through leading
brands including Standard & Poor's, McGraw-Hill Education, Platts, and J.D.
Power and Associates. The Corporation has more than 280 offices in 40
countries. Sales in 2009 were $5,95 billion. Additional information is
available at www.mcgraw-hill.com/.

About CAR Magazine

CAR Magazine is read by an average of 1 150 000 people each month. CAR
Magazine also publishes www.carmag.co.za. The results of the J.D. Power and
Associates /CAR Magazine 2011 South Africa Initial Quality Study(SM) (IQS)
are published in the February 2011 issue of CAR Magazine.

J.D. Power and Associates Media Relations Contacts:

John Tews; Troy, Mich., U.S.A.; +1-248-312-4119; media.relations@jdpa.com

Brian Walters; Guildford, Surrey, UK; UK Phone: +44-1483-207-602; South
Africa Phone: 083-379-6464; brian.walters@jdpa.com

No advertising or other promotional use can be made of the information in
this release without the express prior written consent of J.D. Power and
Associates. www.jdpower.com

John Tews, Troy, Mich., U.S.A.., +1-248-312-4119, media.relations at jdpa.com, or Brian Walters, Guildford, Surrey, UK, UK Phone: +44-1483-207-602, South Africa Phone: 083-379-6464, brian.walters at jdpa.com, both of J.D. Power and Associates

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