Ram is the first truck-only brand to capture the top spot in the J.D. Power 2021 Initial Quality Study (IQS), culminating a meteoric rise in performance over the last two years.
The brand’s first-place finish was fueled by positive feedback from owners of new 2500/3500 trucks – named top large heavy-duty pickup in this year’s IQS – and owners of new Ram 1500 trucks, which ranked second among large light-duty pickups. Ram tied for third place in the 2020 IQS, and was 21st the prior year.
The groundbreaking result compliments Dodge brand’s second-place finish. Dodge rewrote the record books last year by becoming the first domestic brand to claim top honors in IQS.
Against this backdrop, Jeep® jumped to a best-ever eighth place finish, three spots up from the prior year, putting a trio of Stellantis brands in the top quartile of this year’s results.
“This is not a data point; this is a trend,” said Mark Champine, Head of North America Customer Experience at Stellantis. “Anyone who knows the robustness of our product-improvement processes, as well as the engagement level of our workforce, is not surprised by these latest results.”
“We have seen the hard work put in by the Stellantis team up close,” said Dave Sargent, vice president of automotive quality at J.D. Power. “These latest results are testament to the efforts put in across the organization. To have the top two brands in the study is a very impressive achievement. Congratulations to the entire team.”
Product design was a key contributor to this year’s outcomes, Champine noted.
“If you start with strong design and follow that up with discipline on the plant floor, you get the kind of results we’re seeing today,” he said. “This feedback reflects our primary focus – to build vehicles our customers will be proud to recommend to friends and family.”
J.D. Power surveyed new-vehicle buyers about their first three months of ownership and tracked problems per 100 vehicles (PP100) to measure the performance of 32 brands. Compared with 2020’s results, Ram’s industry-leading total improved by 13 PP100 to 128.
Dodge was next with 139, five PP100 fewer than its nearest competitors.
“We’re proud to say it took another Stellantis brand to beat Dodge,” Champine said.
Jeep brand’s 149 total is 13 PP100 better than the industry average of 162. The intrepid brand’s performance was led by the Jeep Gladiator, winner of the midsize pickup category, and the previous-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee, which scored a podium finish in the midsize SUV category.
Both the Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 reached the podium in the large car segment. Half of the 12 Stellantis vehicles eligible for prizes either won or were runners-up in their categories.