Quality gap shrinks as China sales soar

  • 05-Jan-2010 01:59 EST
China Automotive Monthly - Executive Summary (12 09) (3).pdf

J.D. Power's Timothy Dunne says  quality will be a critical factor in the success of Chinese indigenous automakers. The graph's y-axis shows problems per 100 vehicles.

China's indigenous automakers are making "real progress" on the vehicle-quality front, according to J.D. Power and Associates. In a December report, the consultancy noted that, in 2009, the quality gap between vehicles made by Chinese automakers vs. their foreign counterparts dropped to 1.16 problems per vehicle (2.58 for Chinese, 1.42 for transplants). Ten years ago, the gap was 3.96 (8.34 for Chinese, 4.38 for transplants). Timothy Dunne of J.D. Power noted in the report that most Chinese automakers in 2000 were "in their infancy" and "primarily concerned with building vehicles at the lowest possible cost rather than ... with the highest possible quality." Regarding sales of light vehicles, the report describes the rate of growth in 2009 as "staggering," with projected sales of about 13 million units (figures were not available for December; through November, sales reached 11.62 million). That's an increase of 46%. For 2010, J.D. Power forecasts a 6% sales increase to 13.9 million units.

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