NEW YORK – Kia, a brand freely available in South Africa, has become the first non-premium brand in 27 years to top a JD Power Initial Quality Study.
Kia owners in the US reported fewer issues with their new vehicles in the first 90 days of ownership than any other of the 33 car and truck brands sold there with the Sportage and Soul recognised as ‘Best in Segment’.
Three other Kia models – the automaker is a sister brand of Korean brand Hyundai – the study reported, were among the top three in their respective category: the Kia Rio, Cerato and Sorento.
Earlier this month (June 2016) Kia South Africa increased its new-vehicle warranty to five years, regardless of distance covered.
Michael Sprague, chief operating officer and executive vice-president of Kia Motors America, told The Corner in a media release: “Ranking No.1 in the entire industry for initial quality is the result of Kia’s decade-long focus on craftsmanship and continuous improvement.
“It reflects the voice of our customers – the ultimate affirmation. There is no doubt Kia is a world-class automaker.”
Kia’s US sales have consistently grown over the past four years to exceed 600 000 a year. After entering the overall top 10 in the Initial Quality Sruvey for the first time in 2013, Kia was second in the industry (after Porsche) and led all non-premium makes in IQS in 2015.
Now in its 30th year, the annual JD Power IQS analyses responses from vehicle owners in 26 segments. IQS is determined by vehicle owners evaluating the driving experience, engine and transmission performance, and a broad range of quality-related problems within the first 90 days of ownership.