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New J.D. Power Research Shows Which Features Go Unused

Automakers spending an inordinate amount of resources and time rushing emerging technology and connectivity options into new cars. A new survey shows a lot of customers don't want them.

J.D Power ranks the most appealing brands in America. Porsche tops the list, followed by Jaguar, BMW and Mercedes. US and Japanese brands also are ranked.


I can't tell you how many times I've been driving with friends or family in a decidedly nice Korean press car, only to have a passenger notice the logo on the steering wheel and exclaim, "Wait... this is a Kia?" For every time I roll my eyes at a story with a lede about how Hyundai "is really gaining momentum these days," I get equally annoyed when people comment on how Kia is finally starting to make decent cars. This is hardly news. The brand has been pumping out really solid stuff for a while


Jaguar has taken the top spot among luxury brands in the 2013 Sales Satisfaction Index, an annual survey conducted by J.D. Power that measures customer satisfaction with the experience of purchasing a new vehicle. The English brand, not even among the top three luxury automakers on the list last year, vaulted ahead of Lexus, which placed third this year after leading the list in 2011 and 2012. Porsche, meanwhile, moved into second place.


J.D. Power has just revealed the results of its 2013 APEAL Study, which looks at which brands have the most appealing cars based on sales figures, dealer inventory, brand loyalty, transaction and trade-in prices. The study was revamped for 2013, and places a larger focus on the new tech and infotainment options available to customers. All told, study participants gauged their vehicles on 77 different attributes, delivering a score out of a 1,000 points.


Last December, J.D. Power's Sales Satisfaction Index Study ranked Chrysler's Jeep, Ram and Dodge brands at the bottom of the list. The Chrysler brand itself fared somewhat better with a ranking of nine out of 19 brands.


Why No One Quality Report Tells The Whole Story


Despite an overall increase in overall quality of five percent, automakers are continuing to struggle with in-car technologies, says J.D. Power in its annual Initial Quality Study. Owners reports of problems with factory-installed hands-free communication devices has increased 137 percent since 2009, when such infotainment solutions were offered mostly in high-end models only.


Technology can be a fickle thing for automotive companies. Done right, tech can help sell cars. Done badly, and tech can sink a whole company's image.


J.D. Power has become a household name thanks to the organization's yearly awards based on in-depth consumer surveys about all manner of goods and services. In the automotive industry, manufacturers constantly struggle to best each other for top honors, and that struggle has helped push the industry toward ever-better quality. But as Ward's Auto points out, few people know the man behind the name.


When it comes to handing out awards, nobody works harder than J.D. Power. With surveys concocted to measure dependability, brand reputation, customer retention, quality, and whatever else the company can dream up, we sometimes wonder whether the company's plaudits aren't becoming a little like "participant" medals awarded at the end of kids' sports seasons.


Remember the days of planned obsolescence? They're over. The latest J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study shows a 13-percent improvement in new car dependability over the first three years of ownership. The latest sample of 2009 model year vehicles shows the lowest rate of problems since the study's inception in 1990.


Reputation is everything, according to a new survey by J.D. Power and Associates. The 2012 Avoider Study found that 43 percent of buyers who steer clear of a particular model due to quality concerns do so merely because of common knowledge. Ratings and reviews – our stock in trade – were cited by 38 percent, while previous ownership of a model caused scorn in only 14 percent of respondents.


Ford has taken it on the chin from J.D. Power since the carmaker rolled out its new MyFord Touch system in the 2011 Explorer. Ford's ranking in the influential Initial Quality Survey dropped from fifth last year all the way down to 23rd, in large measure because of customer dissatisfaction with the new technology and its voice recognition interface, but also because of refinement complaints about the PowerShift dual-clutch transmission in the Fiesta. But unlike, say, the Houston Cougars, who plu


For those of us testing dozens of in-car navigation and infotainment systems each year, J.D. Power's 2011 U.S. Navigation Usage and Satisfaction Study comes as no surprise.


While Nissan has never enjoyed the same stellar reputation for quality as its Japanese compatriots at Toyota and Honda, it has lately found itself in danger of acquiring the opposite rep. Nissan's performance on influential J.D. Power quality and dependability studies has been below average lately, as many of its rivals have improved. Nissan will be launching a new quality plan in November, but Automotive News has the scoop today.


J.D. Power loves to know what you think about new cars and the companies that make them. One of their annual reports is called the APEAL study, which looks at automotive performance, execution and layout, and this analytic look at makes and models is tallied up within a 1,000-point scale. The average score for the entire industry currently sits at 781, which is an improvement over last year's average of 778.


The calendar has kicked over to summer, and that means J.D. Power has just updated its Initial Quality report. The 2011 edition of the IQS is a bit surprising, mostly because the quality of new model launches has been trending upward since 2007 for the entire industry on average. The tune has changed for 2011, as J.D. Power notes the first quality decline in four years, though it notes that carryover models performed better than ever - it's the new models that are drawing complaints. It's not al


Ford has had its share of quality issues with its fledgling MyFord Touch technology, and watchdogs like Consumer Reports and J.D. Power have taken notice. Bloomberg reports that Ford CEO Alan Mulally is all too aware of the automaker's latest technology glitches, saying, "We've had just a few issues with some technologies associated with Sync and MyFord Touch."


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