It wasn’t so long ago that American cars were constantly derided and criticized by the motoring press for being boring and behind the times. General Motors in particular was cited again and again as an example of badge engineering and bean-counting gone wrong, leading to the 2009 bankruptcy and bailout of the American car giant.
But this year GM is riding high on a wave of enthusiasm and accolades for its products, including a big win in the J.D. Power Initial Quality Study. Chevrolet was rated the 5th-best car company in initial quality, and GMC was rated #2. The only companies that beat out the two biggest GM brands were all luxury car makers.
This is a huge win for GM, and Chevrolet especially, which jumped 10 spots from 15 to 5, passing by competitors like Toyota, Hyundai, and Mercedes-Benz. Cadillac meanwhile was rated #14, with Buick one spot behind it at #15. The only company to outrank GMC on the survey was Porsche.
As for Chevrolet, it was beat out by Lexus at #3 and Infiniti at #4. A big help for GM was that J.D. Power now includes initial gripes, rather than just mechanical deficiencies, in their rankings. This is because cars have gotten so good that there are few issues to ever complain about. But GM has managed to not just make high-quality cars, but cars people can still understand as well. And really, what is so hard to understand about a 426 horsepower Camaro SS?