America’s Worst Car Brands

The recently released J.D. Power 2023 U.S. Initial Quality Study encompasses all prominent car brands available in the U.S. Volvo, a luxury brand with limited vehicle offerings, finds itself at the bottom of the list, a placement that is likely to adversely affect its sales. Similarly, Chrysler performed equally poorly, receiving an abysmal score.

The study measures problems per 100 vehicles. The research is based on responses from 93,380 purchasers and lessees of new 2023 model-year vehicles. Questions fall into nine vehicle categories which are 1) infotainment, 2) features, controls and displays, 3) exterior, 4) driving assistance, 5) interior, 6) powertrain, 7) seats, 8) driving experience, and 9) climate.

The study average was 192 per 100 vehicles. Volvo had 250, as did Chrysler.

Volvo vehicles are built by the Volvo Car Group based in Sweden. Volvo Car USA sold 10,723 cars in May, up 14.4%. The sales of rival BMW, Mercedes, and Lexus dwarf this figure. Volvo only sells four models–the X30 all-electric vehicle, the X90 all-electric vehicle, the X40, and the X60.

In other evaluations of car quality, Volvo often gets high grades. So, the J.D. Power rating must come as some surprise to management. However, high-end cars often come with complex electronic features. Volvo falls into the category.

Once one of America’s great car brands, Chrysler has fallen on hard times. The parent is multinational Stellantis N.V. It also owns the US Dodge, Jeep, and RAM brands. Chrysler has only three models–the Pacifica, the Pacifica Hybrid, and the 300.

The J.D. Power survey is widely followed. Chrysler and Volvo, therefore, have a sales challenge. (These are the best and worst-built cars in America.)

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