Manufacturing | July 17 2015

What does quality really mean?

Is quality about minimizing what’s wrong?

Is it about being “perfect”?

Is it a feeling?

There are many research firms and industry consultants that release automotive quality reports, surveys and studies. But to judge those results as you would, you have to dig into what they are truly measuring.

For San Diego-based Strategic Vision’s Total Quality IndexTM, its unique study looks at what owners say is wrong but it also highlights “those things that generate love. What they truly love or find delightful about their vehicles,” said the firm’s president, Alexander Edwards.

In the video, Edwards said the difference between automakers at the top and those at the bottom, when looking at traditional quality measures, is relatively small.

“Today, all the vehicles are delivering less than half a problem per vehicle. Half of all new vehicle owners do not have a problem with their vehicles,” he explained. “So, instead you need to provide products that customers love, and the FCA vehicles are doing that. [FCA is] innovating their product categories, which is what is generating genuine love for the products again.”

FCA US was the # 1 automaker in Strategic Vision’s 20th Annual TQI rankings for 2015. In fact, in the 27 segment categories, 2015 model-year FCA vehicles captured the top spot in six of them, which tied for the most of any automaker:

  • Challenger – tied for first in Specialty Coupe segment
  • Charger – Full-Size Car; first for second year in a row
  • Durango – Mid-Size SUV; first for the third year in a row
  • Wrangler Unlimited – Entry SUV; first for the second year in a row
  • 500 – Small Multi-Function Car
  • 500e – Small Alternate Powertrain Car

In addition to the above, the Ram Truck brand was named the Best Brand (non-luxury).

FCA North America Vice President for Quality Matt Liddane said the continued improvement in build quality across our line, combined with the passion in ownership our vehicles instill, continues to fuel the company’s momentum.

“Our unwavering commitment to the highest level of quality as a company is being recognized on a national level, while our world-class vehicle lineup continues to attract new customers, as well as those who have been purchasing our products for years.”

For more details, see the FCA US release on the 2015 Strategic Vision TQI results.