Caixin
Sep 30, 2016 05:03 PM
BUSINESS & TECH

Domestic Cars' Quality Approaching That of Foreign Models, Expert Says

(Beijing) — Chinese domestic cars will catch up with international brands in terms of quality in the next two years, an executive at the China unit of J.D. Power said Thursday.

The largest gap in quality between Chinese and international brands is in the engine and transmission, Jeff Cai, general manager of auto product and quality at J.D. Power China, while discussing the firm's 2016 China Initial Quality Study.

J.D. Power is renowned for its surveys on product quality and consumer satisfaction.

The study measured the quality of cars, both domestic and foreign brands, sold in China by examining problems that owners experienced in the first two to six months of ownership. Each brand receives an "initial quality score," an index determined by problems reported per 100 vehicles (PP100), with a lower number of problems indicating higher quality.

The entire industry scored 102 PP100, down from 105 PP100 in 2015, according to the study. The improvement is largely attributed to progress made in the quality of small vehicles.

Although the numbers appeared high, indicating at least one problem with each vehicle on average, the index figures tended to be high across the board. Even most of the top brands had indexes of over 90. FAW scored 104, but the best-scoring car, Porsche, still tallied up an index of 67.

The domestic Chinese brands are closing the gap on the international brands, narrowing the difference to 14 PP100, compared with a difference of 22 PP100 in 2015, the company said.

However, foreign nameplates still provided the most trouble-free experience, with Porsche leading the pack, followed by Lexus and Mini, according to the report.

The study is based on evaluations from 21,706 car owners who bought new vehicles between September 2015 and May this year. The study includes 145 different models from 54 different brands.

Contact reporter Chen Na (nachen@caixin.com); editor Ken Howe (kennethhowe@caixin.com)

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