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October 17, 2020

GAC is Highest-Ranked Chinese Brand in Terms of Initial Quality

After scoring the highest in J.D. Power’s 2020 APEAL Study, GAC Motor scores a hat trick by ranking highest among Chinese brands in the 2020 J.D. Power China Initial Quality Study or IQS.

The study, now in its 21st year, measures initial vehicle quality by examining problems experienced by new-vehicle owners within the first two to six months of ownership. Overall initial quality is determined by problems reported per 100 vehicles (PP100), with a lower number of problems indicating higher quality.

The 2020 China Initial Quality Study measures new-vehicle quality by examining problems in two categories: design-related problems, and defects/ malfunctions. Specific diagnostic questions include 218 problem symptoms across nine categories: features/ controls/ displays; exterior; interior; infotainment system; seats; driving experience; driving assistance; powertrain; and climate.

The 2020 study is based on responses from 32,536 vehicle owners who purchased their vehicle between June 2019 and June 2020. The study includes 241 models from 57 different brands and was fielded from December 2019 through August 2020 in 70 major cities across China.

GAC with 125 PP100 is the highest-ranked Chinese domestic brand, a feat they’ve managed to accomplish for the eighth consecutive year. The highest-ranked mass market brand though is GAC’s joint-venture with Honda (GAC Honda) with 115 PP100. This is followed by yet another GAC joint-venture, this time with FCA-Jeep (118 PP100). Ranking third with a tie is Beijing Hyundai and Changan Ford both with 119 PP100.

According to the respondents of the 2020 study, the percentage of vehicle owners who agree or strongly agree that Chinese domestic brands are “innovative, reliable, environmental-friendly, and reputable” has increased since 2015 by 12 percent, 9 percent, 7, percent, and 10 percent. Moreover, the percentage of vehicle owners who choose domestic brands because of good quality or performance has increased to 25 percent this year from 16 percent in 2015, while the percentage of those who choose domestic brands due to low price has dropped to 6 percent from 12 percent in 2015.

That said, J.D. Power still finds that there is a quality gap between Chinese domestic brands and all other brands in China. Among all automotive brands, Chinese domestic brands (135 PP100) are the only ones that perform below the industry average level (127 PP100).

Overall, design-related problems account for 62 percent of all problems compared to just 37 percent for defects/malfunction-related problems. These findings serve as a call for Chinese automakers to identify design defects early on in the product design phase.

The top problem cited by owners? unpleasant interior smell and excessive road noise.

You can check the full ranking of car brands and the top-ranked vehicles per segment below:

2020 J.D. Power China Initial Quality Study

Top Three Models per Segment
  • Compact: Hyundai Reina
  • Compact Upper: Toyota Yaris L, Volkswagen Polo
  • Midsize Basic: Hyundai Celesta, Honda City Fengfan, Chery Arrizo 5
  • Midsize: Toyota Levin, Ford Escort, Kia K3
  • Midsize Upper Economy: Buick Verano, Volkswagen Lamando, Hyundai Mistra
  • Midsize Upper: Honda Accord, Chevrolet Malibu XL, Toyota Avalon
  • Compact Luxury: Audi A3, Jaguar XEL, Audi A4L
  • Midsize Luxury: Cadillac CT6, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Lexus ES
  • Small SUV: Changan CS35, GAC GS3, Geely Vision X3
  • Compact SUV: Volkswagen T-Cross, Changan CS35 Plus, Jeep Compass
  • Midsize SUV: Geely Xingyue, Hyundai ix35, Dongfeng Forthing T5
  • Large SUV: Honda Avancier, Toyota Highlander, Honda UR-V
  • Compact Luxury SUV: Audi Q2L, Infiniti QX50, BMW X2, Mercedes-Benz GLA
  • Midsize Luxury SUV: Lexus RX, Porsche Macan, Volvo XC60
  • Large Luxury SUV: Porsche Cayenne, Audi Q7, BMW X5
  • Compact MPV: Baojun 360, Baojun RM-5
  • Midsize SUV: Wuling Hongguang S3, GAC GM6 BYD Songmax Max
  • Large MPV: Buick GL8


  1. Where does GEELY rank? Its not in the chart nor the top 3 models per segment? Even the Ford Territory/ Jiangling S330 is not listed?

  2. Getting GAC has been a big regret for the family. Gas consumption is horrendous and as petrol rates are on all time high, this car is eating on our monthly budget - - a lot


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