A study released today is going to raise some eyebrows with the historically quality-challenged Ram brand getting a huge win for dependability surpassing nearly all other truck brands.
This 2020 J.D. Power Initial Quality Study shows the Ram brand in a tie for first among truck brands with Chevy. It also shows, also pretty surprisingly, Dodge is near the top and all the Japanese brands have fallen to the middle of the pack.
The Study, in its 34th year, “is based on responses from 87,282 purchasers and lessees of new 2020 model-year vehicles who were surveyed after 90 days of ownership,” according to JDPower.com.
Also, and worth noting, J.D. Power is a “marketing, consumer intelligence, and data and analytics company” and automakers aren’t allowed to use their survey results without the written consent of J.D. Power. Automakers do purchase the survey results from J.D. Power and those sales are what help fund the survey.
FCA says this is the first time they have ever surpassed the industry average.
“These results reflect the relentless, whatever-it-takes attitude of our team,” said Mark Champine, Head of Quality, FCA – North America, according to a press release. “Our complete focus is the customer and these outcomes reinforce that we are on-target. The team is going to be inspired and motivated and will continue to push forward.”
Back to the survey results. While brand quality is a hard way to measure individual categories since brands like Chevy produce cars, CUVs, SUVs and compete in four different truck categories, J.D. Power did break down the results by the top three. Interestingly, there is a certain Ram truck missing from these results.
Where is the Ram truck? Remember, Ram also builds cargo and commercial vans as well and we don’t have results for those products.
What we can see is a mix of surprising results. For example, in the midsize segment, where is the Toyota Tacoma? It has a rock-solid reputation for quality and many owners feel like they could literally drive it through a brick wall and it would keep going. Instead, we find the return of the Ford Ranger to the top of the list.
Next, the Toyota Tundra keeps its reign as the top quality truck, however, one could argue this is really due to being the oldest truck in the segment and all the bugs have been worked out years ago. This same criticism could apply to the F-150 as well, which is due for a refresh for 2021.
The GMC Sierra getting in on this list is impressive considering it was recently redone completely for the 2019 model year.
Finally, the HD trucks see the Ford Super Duty taking the top spot from the Chevy Silverado, which has historically been the top truck when we complied the list of the most dependable trucks for the past 15 years.
On the SUV side, we see plenty of Kia products. some Toyota/Lexus, General Motors and Nissan. A dusting of several other brands rounds out the list.
One of the surprises has to be the Jaguar E-Pace since JLR has been a brand, like FCA (Fiat, Chrysler, Ram, Dodge), which has been historically plagued by a bad reputation for quality.
What do you think? What surprises you from this study?
I wonder if interior aesthetics are influencing the questionnaire responses of those who were surveyed.