The JD Power studies are important benchmarks for all auto manufacturers in the United States. And for KIA, the result of a recent study that found its vehicles are of higher quality and more dependable among the mass-market brands surveyed, is another new benchmark achievement for the Korean brands meteoric rise in the industry.
The JD Power 2021 US Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS), now in its 32nd year, measures the number of problems per 100 vehicles (PP100) experienced during the past 12 months by original owners of three-year-old vehicles. More than 33,000 vehicle owners were surveyed from July 2020 through November 2020.
Over that span of time, KIA encountered just 97 PP100, a considerable improvement from 2020 result (132 PP100). This is also the first time Kia ranked highest overall among mass market brands.
“The JD Power survey results aren’t that much of a surprise. Having recently completed our rebranding—with a brand-new logo and a new global motto, ‘Movement that Inspires’—all these are now being applied in real terms, with tangible benefits to Kia vehicle owners. From the beginning, we have anchored ourselves on the brand’s reliability that Filipinos can count on. This recent acknowledgment just boosted our motivation to inspire the local automotive market and up their game in terms of giving the market what they truly deserve,” said KIA Philippines President, Manny Aligada.
Brand image strengthened
The study, which included 32 nameplates and 153 models, also strengthened the brand image of KIA’s three most popular-selling models—the Sorento mid-size SUV, Sportage compact SUV, and Optima mid-size sedan (currently not offered in the Philippines). In the study, the three bested their respective segments.
KIA’s achievement is the latest in a series of recognitions accorded by the global leader in consumer insights, advisory services and data and analytics. In 2020, Kia tied with American brand Dodge to top the JD Power Initial Quality Study (IQS).
The 7-seater KIA Sorento was also the highest ranked in the 2017 and 2018 JD Power IQS Award for the midsize SUV segment, while the Sportage also topped the compact SUV segment in the JD Power IQS and VDS in 2019.
The 2021 US VDS covered 177 specific problems grouped into eight major vehicle categories: audio/communication/entertainment/navigation or ACEN; engine/transmission; exterior; interior; features/controls/displays or FCD; driving experience; heating, ventilation and air conditioning; and seats.
“KIA is indeed, kicking off a new era—not only with a brand-new logo but with more sophistication in terms of design and technology. This prestigious award in the US bolsters our track record in initial quality and shows that the ‘new car luster’ of our world-class vehicles extends far beyond the first few days of ownership,” said Aligada.
He related that for buyers here in the Philippines, the experience of owning, driving, and riding a KIA shouldn’t only be felt merely at the present or in the moment. “The most fulfilling ownership experience happens when one relishes the thought of driving that same car well into the future, with no worries in sight.”
Dependability is assured with KIA PH’s “Promise to Care” program, wherein every vehicle comes with a five-year or 160,000-kilometer warranty (whichever comes first), except for the K2500 which offers a three-year or 110,000 km-warranty.
Utmost dependability covers even the unexpected events: KIA Philippines entitles its vehicle owners to its 24/7 Roadside Assistance. This is free for the first five years and also includes emergency towing, minor onsite repair, personal and medical assistance, and information service.
KIA Philippines has also made dependability a key promise for its parts supplies and servicing. To ensure its dealerships are supplied with authentic parts on time anytime, Aligada shared that Kia Philippines has increased its inventory for maintenance and mechanical parts five-fold, and has inked a strategic partnership with logistics firm DHL.
“The highest level of dependability that our customers experience with our vehicles is the same level they will experience with our services. That’s how we can bring back and maintain consumer confidence in the Philippine automotive market,” Aligada concluded.
Charles E. Buban is an old timer in the Philippine automotive journalism scene. He first started covering the automotive beat in 2003, writing news and reviews of new models and car tech, among other car-related stuff. When not writing about cars, he could often be seen riding his mountain bike or doing long walks in the hope of catching a couple of legendary Pokemons.