Ram Dominated J.D. Power's Initial Quality Study

Hannah DeWitt
· 4 min read
The truck market is among the most competitive sectors in the automobile industry. For years, Ford and Chevy have dominated truck-making, but recently
has stepped up to the plate in a serious way. 
The threat became real when Ram 1500, Ram 1500 TRX, and the Ram 2500 and 3500 workhorses
earned top honors for 2021
. In September 2021, Ram even topped J.D. Power's Initial Quality Study list, surpassing both Ford and Chevy.
The J.D. Power Initial Quality Study is an extensive survey of the nation’s car owners.

Ram number one in J.D. Power's Initial Quality Study

If you ask five different experts to rank the best trucks, you will probably get five different opinions. However, it is difficult to argue against real quality data gathered from automobile owners, which means that by taking over the top spot on the J.D. Power IQS, Ram is a legitimate threat to Ford and Chevy in the truck market.
Earning the top spot on the J.D. Power Initial Quality Study (IQS) means that Ram truck owners encounter fewer quality problems with their vehicles than owners of any other brand of car. That level of quality is a substantial argument in Ram’s favor for any truck buyers in the market right now.
Kelley Blue Book
reports that the score represents a remarkable turnaround for the brand, since Ram ranked 21st in the study in 2018. Ram didn't just slip into the top spot, but topped the next competitor on the list, Dodge, by eleven points while beating out Lexus and Mitsubishi by sixteen points.
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What is the Initial Quality Study?

The IQS has consistently been recognized as the most valuable market study since its development in 1987.
According to
J.D. Power
, the IQS involves basing their “independent and unbiased ratings, reviews, and awards on detailed survey feedback from verified car owners each year to uncover and understand their experiences over the first three-months of ownership and, subsequently, their experiences over the first three-years of ownership."
After collecting, categorization, and tallying up the scores from the submitted data, the results are the J.D. Power Consumer Verified Ratings. The overall rating is based on four weighted values: sub-ratings for quality and reliability (40%), driving experience (20%), resale value (20%), and dealership experience (20%).

How accurate is the IQS?

The rating system has remained the same since IQS was launched. The fact that the system is based on real owners' opinions and hard data lends a great deal of legitimacy to it. However, in the age of electronics, the line between “working” and “not working” has blurred, making things a bit more complicated. 
Kelley Blue Book points out that the Initial Quality Study discovered that, "Owners were more likely to struggle with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity than any other issue, particularly when connecting their phones to their new car wirelessly." This also presents the idea that reported issues could be related to user experience rather than mechanical problems. 
The J.D. Power rankings do not have a means to identify whether problems are related to mechanical failure, or user experience, suggesting that
JD Power Awards may have some faults
to be addressed. However, up to this point, IQS remains the most objective and accurate ranking system in the industry.

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