DETROIT: Ford and General Motors want to mine some PR gold from the latest J.D. Power %26 Associates initial quality rankings of major automakers.
Ford moved out of the cellar in this all-important survey, showing a 12% improvement. GM moved into the top three among major car producers and also showed the most improvement in quality over the past five years, up 30% compared to an industry average of 24%.
Both automakers were working their media contacts as the report was released on May 30.
"It's very important given the amount of talking we've done about improving quality, said Marcey Evans, quality public affairs manager with Ford.
When former CEO Jac Nasser was ousted from Ford last year, one of the knocks on him was that he had let vehicle quality slip. New CEO Bill Ford has talked consistently about addressing quality issues.
Ford put a release about the report on its media website, and scheduled a series of interviews with its VP of quality. "We covered every major national media outlet, Evans said.
Ford executives will touch on the J.D. Power rankings in future presentations, she added.
GM put out backgrounders to media before the report was released, discussing its approach to quality. "The fact we did as well as we did is another part of our improvement, said Tony Cervone, GM executive director, communications. "J.D. Power is probably the single most watched quality measurement."
The J.D. Power survey is published annually, and looks at what consumers think of cars they bought after 90 days.