The Swedish company vows to do better in J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Studies in the Future.
The Koreans currently dominate J.D. Power’s Initial Quality Study. Genesis, Kia, and Hyundai took swept the top three spots. Korean Hyundai Motor Group has certainly come a long way. The brands used to be known for poor quality, and today they’re leading the industry. One brand that’s doing poorly that may surprise you is Volvo.
Volvo ranked near the bottom of the list of automakers. It was third to last, only managing to best Jaguar and Land Rover, two brands that are notorious for quality and reliability issues.
Volvo Wants to Turn Things Around
According to Henrik Green, the company’s research and development boss, the low score came from one vehicle. Green told Automotive News that the company experienced quality issues with its new XC90 SUV.
Green contends that Volvo used the quality issues with the XC90 as a learning experience and has already righted the wrongs in the brand’s XC60. He said that the rollout of the smaller SUV was the most successful that the brand has ever seen in its long history of making automobiles in terms of quality.
The New S60 Will Lead the Way
Volvo doesn’t expect it’s low rankings to continue. Green noted that as successful as the XC60 was, the new S60 sedan will be even better in terms of quality.
“Whether that happens remains to be seen now, but we will know three months after the first models are on the market,” Green told Automotive News.
Green went on to say that he believes the S60 will put Volvo back near the top of the premium midsize sedan segment. This means the car will have to beat out some stiff competition from BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and the other premium automakers.
Volvo hasn’t had a truly competitive premium midsize sedan on the market for several years. Green acknowledged this in his interview with Automotive News. He said he doesn’t believe Volvo has been competitive since before Ford owned a significant part of the company, which started in 1999.
Geely, a Chinese company, owns Volvo. Chinese factories build some of the brand’s models, but Volvo’s American facilities will build the S60.
Green said with the introduction of the S60, the last of Ford’s ownership will be swept away from the brand, and Volvo will be “as premium as any of the most premium companies out there.”
It will be interesting to see what the future holds for the brand, and how it fares in future J.D. Power Initial Quality Studies.