Four Gold Awards for KIA in the 2015 Ipsos Product Quality Awards
- KIA Rio dominates in Small Hatch category, with Sorento topping the list in Best New Recreational Vehicle category
- KIA Sportage scores Gold Award in Most Improved Recreational Vehicle category
- KIA Motors takes Gold in Best Volume Passenger Car Brand category
KIA Motors South Africa received a total of four Gold Awards in the 2015 Product Quality Awards, presented by internationally recognised research firm, Ipsos, in Johannesburg this week. The survey assists with the benchmarking of product quality with rankings based on problems per 100 vehicles (PP100) – the lower the PP100 ranking, the higher the quality.
KIA’s first Gold Award arrived in the Small Hatch category, where the KIA Rio hatch – with a PP100 score of 25 – ruled the roost along with two Japanese competitor vehicles. In the rankings for new vehicles that weren’t included in the previous study, the KIA Sorento ruled the roost as Best New Recreational Vehicle with a PP100 score of 22. The Sorento also won a Silver Award in the Large Recreational Vehicle category.
According to Ipsos, a clear indication of just how seriously manufacturers and distributors take product quality and the feedback from their customers about their vehicles, is the high level of improvement shown in the Most Improved Awards. In this category, and specifically in the segment for Most Improved Recreational Vehicle, the KIA Sportage was the clear winner with a PP100 score of 34, a remarkable improvement compared to its score of 55 in 2014.
However, the biggest award of the day arrived with a Gold Award for KIA Motors South Africa as the Best Volume Passenger Car Brand*, with an overall PP100 score of 31. KIA’s exceptional results in the Ipsos Product Quality Awards follows the brand’s other achievements this year, which includes ranking in second position in both the UK and the USA J.D. Power Initial Quality Survey.
“KIA’s achievements in the 2015 Ipsos Product Quality Awards is a clear indication of how highly our cars are regarded by their owners,” says David Sieff, Marketing Director of KIA Motors South Africa. “The KIA Sorento, Sportage and Rio are top of the podium with their Gold Awards and is a good benchmark that our focus on quality and refinement is paying off. It’s this focus that has been a huge driver of the brand’s success in South Africa. We have made big strides in a short time and will continue to surprise the current and next Kia owner.”
According to Patrick Busschau, the Ipsos Automotive Business Unit Director, customers in South Africa are becoming increasingly demanding where product quality and general service levels are concerned, but the local motor industry continues to keep raising the bar or, at least, remains on a very high level. “The local motor industry can be very proud of the latest Ipsos study results as a tribute to dedication to quality at all levels indicative of extensive quality improvement programmes and intensive staff training,” he concluded.
Ipsos, and its forerunner, Synovate, has been involved in competitive customer satisfaction surveys for the motor industry in South Africa since 1991, which gives them unique insights into the improvement in vehicle quality over 24 years. In terms of product quality, the industry average number of problems per 100 vehicles (PP100) has remained around the 30 to 40 mark since 2011, which is a huge improvement over the average 154 problems per 100 vehicles recorded in 2005.
The Product Quality Survey is based on customers’ ownership experience of vehicles sold by manufacturers and distributors responsible for more than 83% of the country’s annual sales volume between January and December 2014. The research follows a syndicated format, and any motor company can participate if they supply names for interviewing, agree to the rules of syndication and participate in meetings and decisions regarding the syndicate business in a transparent and open manner.
* The Gold Award for the Best Volume Passenger Car Brand is shared with Toyota South Africa Motors.