Auto News for June 22 – Kia, Genesis Top Survey

 Kia K900Genisus coupe 

 J.D. Power is out with its annual report on the number of problems experienced during the first 90 days of ownership of a new vehicle. It’s conclusion?

 New-vehicle quality is at its highest level ever, improving a significant 8% from last year, with improvements across seven of the eight categories measured, with 27 of the 33 brands in the study improving their quality compared with 2016.

 That is not to say there are no problems, and the leading area is well known.

 Audio/communication/entertainment/navigation continues to be the area where new vehicle owners experience the most glitches. But even there, we see a 2.8 percent improvement over 2016.

 Kia ranks highest in overall initial quality for a second consecutive year, and its brother in law, Genesis, ranks second overall. They were followed by Porsche, with Ford and Ram tied for fourth. On the other end of the chart were Jaguar and Fiat.

 The most improved brand was Mini. Other improved brands were Ram, Acura, Volvo, and Ford.

 The parent company receiving the most model-level awards for its various brands is Hyundai with five model-level awards, followed by General Motors and BMW, each with four.

 Power’s Initial Quality Study is based on responses from nearly 80,000 purchasers and lessees of new 2017 model-year vehicles who were surveyed after 90 days of ownership.

 This Independence Day, a record-breaking 44.2 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more away from home, taking to the nation’s roads, skies, rails and waterways, according to AAA. With 1.25 million more travelers than last year, 2017 will be marked as the most traveled Independence Day holiday weekend ever. “Combined, strong employment, rising incomes and higher consumer confidence bode well for the travel industry, in particular this Independence Day weekend,” said Bill Sutherland.  A total of 37.5 million Americans will drive to their destinations, an increase of 2.9 percent over last year.

 The national average gas price is four cents cheaper than this same time last year and a contributing factor to the increase in travelers on the roads this Independence Day.

 We advised you earlier of AAA’s prediction that oil prices will likely continue to fall this month. Yesterday, they hit a low not seen since last November. On world markets this morning, crude was off another 15 cents all on worries that supply will exceed demand. So there is the chance that over time this price decline might show up at your favorite gas pump.  

 Reuters reports this morning that Takata will file for bankruptcy protection on Monday. It faces billions of dollars in liability losses around the world. The filing is expected to come in Tokyo.

 Driverless shuttle vans are coming to the campus of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Two 15 passenger all-electric vehicles will be circling the campus this fall.

 Bloomberg reports Tesla has reached an agreement with Shanghai to explore the idea of setting up vehicle production there.




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