(SEOUL) June 20, 2013 – J.D. Power and Associates’ 2013 Initial Quality Study (IQS) has ranked the Kia Soul and Kia Sportage as leaders in the Compact Multi-Purpose Vehicle and Sub-Compact CUV segments, respectively, in the United States.
And, for the first time, Kia ranks among the automotive industry’s top 10 nameplates for initial quality. The 2013 Soul ranked first in the Compact MPV segment for the second consecutive year, and the Sportage tied for the highest ranking in the Sub-Compact CUV category.
“Kia Motors is committed to building vehicles that are defined by award-winning design, fun-to-drive performance and world-class quality, and the Soul and Sportage epitomize these attributes,” said Byung Mo Ahn, group president and CEO, Kia Motors America (KMA) and Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia (KMMG).
“Achieving top-ten status within the industry reflects just how far the Kia brand has come in improving the ownership experience and vehicle quality for our customers and advancing value to new levels of sophistication across our entire model line.”
According to the IQS study, Kia made substantial improvements with gains that outpaced the industry average and resulted in the brand’s best-ever score.
The annual report analysed responses from 83,442 respondents about 230 vehicle models and attributes across eight categories, including the driving experience, engine and transmission and a broad range of quality problem symptoms reported by vehicle owners.
Founded in 1944 as Kyungsung Precision Industry, Kia is currently Korea’s second largest car manufacturer and it’s oldest. From the company’s production of Korea’s first domestic bicycle, Kia moved on to producing Korea’s first motorcycle and the country’s first truck. Kia then became the first company in Korea to locally produce petrol car engines and the first domestic diesel engine. In 1979, Kia’s quality car production was recognised by the fact that two of the world’s leading European car makers chose the Korean car maker to build their ‘range topper’ models on their behalf – the Peugeot 604 and Fiat 132. But it was in the 1980s that Kia’s growth really took off. In 1986 Ford joined the list of car makers who looked to Kia to produce cars to be sold under their name, with the Festiva joining Ford’s line up first in the USA, then across the world, including in Australia for where Kia produced two generations of Ford’s entry-level car. Today, Kia produces a remarkably diverse range of vehicles sold in 190 countries around the world.