With American manufacturers, we all know that reliability is not really their usual strong point, but it’s good they all strive to make their models better every year – no wonder since the Japanese have far better results in this category. This time, it’s Chrysler’s turn to tell us what improvements they made in the area.
Following last year’s launch of the all-new Dodge Dart compact sedan, the company is targeting now the SUV segment with the newly refreshed Jeep Cherokee and is also devoting resources to the 2014 Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee. These latter models benefit from new and upgraded powertrains, a completely new electrical architecture and interior enhancements that improve the function and appearance.
“In today’s competitive market, customers expect and deserve a highly reliable vehicle,” Doug Betts, Senior Vice President – Quality, Chrysler Group LLC, said. “For a brand or vehicle to make a strong impression for overall quality, it’s important that we also deliver well-crafted, exciting vehicles and ensure customer satisfaction after the sale.
“Quality means different things to different customers,” Betts said. “We define and track our progress for six types of quality, so we can design and build vehicles that will appeal to a diverse customer base. All customers want high quality vehicles, but that might not mean the same thing to an urban commuter in a Dodge Dart, a contractor hauling a trailer with a Ram 1500 or an off-road enthusiast exploring new trails in a Jeep Wrangler.”
The Chrysler Group monitors six types of quality: “reliability”, also described as ordinary quality, which is measured according to warranty claims. Next up is “perceived quality”, which measures and evaluates vehicle attributes such as fit-and-finish, ergonomics, the feel of interior materials and even the sound quality of movable parts. Then we have “performance quality”, that measures how well a vehicle performs and functions compared to its competition. Then we have the general “dislike” category, which really doesn’t need any explanations. The last two categories are “service quality”, which measures the customer’s experience in the dealership, before and after the sale and the “regulatory” one, that deals with recalls.