Toyota and Lexus now ranked equally in 2015 Initial Quality Study – Why?
For many years, Lexus dominated volume brands on the rankings of the J.D. Power Initial Quality Study. However, Lexus fell dramatically this year. In 2014, Lexus owners reported just 92 problems per 100 vehicles (pp100) in the survey. For 2015, Lexus owners reported 104 pp100. Over the past year Toyota improved its score from 105 to 104, thus tying the Lexus cars many perceive to be higher in quality.
Lexus vehicles sell for more money, are often made in factories in Japan (though that is changing) and have long been the company’s highest level offering. In some cases, there is a similar model Toyota shadowing the Lexus offering in a segment. For example, the Lexus ES350 and ES hybrid are very similar to the Toyota Avalon and Avalon hybrid. In other cases, like with the flagship Lexus LS, there is no Toyota equivalent. The highest ranked premium car overall in the J.D. Power Study this year is the Lexus LS. However, Lexus sells very few LS cars compared to the ES, which is very similar to the Toyota. Perhaps the similar models are bringing the scores in line.
Lexus is also moving more and more of its production to the US, where Toyota already makes the bulk of its vehicles. Perhaps the common manufacturing sites are the reason. We’d like to know what our readers think is the reason that Toyotas now match Lexus in initial quality, according to this important survey. Is it design, or execution that is the cause, or some other factor?