New-Model Launches Are Improving

Those costly glitches and embarrassing hiccups that historically accompany new-model launches are becoming less frequent, says a J.D. Power and Associates researcher. While it is still largely true that problems are associated with new-product introductions, auto makers are becoming more proficient because of improved manufacturing processes and accumulated experience, says Dave Sargent, the consultancy's

Those costly glitches and embarrassing hiccups that historically accompany new-model launches are becoming less frequent, says a J.D. Power and Associates researcher.

While it is “still largely true” that problems are associated with new-product introductions, auto makers are becoming more proficient because of improved manufacturing processes and accumulated experience, says Dave Sargent, the consultancy's vice president-research.

“Some models still come out with quality challenges, but as a whole, OEMs are getting better at avoiding those,” he tells Ward's as J.D. Power releases results of its inaugural Vehicle Launch Index.

J.D. Power studied data on 27 all-new or redesigned vehicles launched during the first 10 months of last year. The '09 Hyundai Genesis sedan was judged to have the best launch.

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