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General Motors Improving in J.D. Power and Associates 2001 Initial Quality Study

  • Saab 9-5, GMC Sonoma, Chevrolet Corvette Rank Highest in Segments

DETROIT -- General Motors Corp. showed continued improvement in quality in the annual J.D. Power and Associates 2001 Initial Quality Study. Three GM nameplates posted impressive improvements, ranking highest in their segments in the annual study.

"The J.D. Power and Associates study is one of the best measures of initial quality on the road because it is the consumer rating their experience with their vehicle," said Ronald L. Zarrella, president of GMs North American operations.

The J.D. Power and Associates study measures the number of problems consumers experience during the first 90 days of vehicle ownership. The study results also are used by consumers when making a decision on what make and model of vehicle to purchase.

"We believe the J.D. Power and Associates results show that GMs quality initiatives are having a positive and lasting effect on our products and customers," Zarrella said.

For instance:

    • Three GM vehicles ranked highest in their segments: Chevrolet Corvette, premium sports car; Saab 9-5, mid luxury car; and the GMC Sonoma, compact pickup.

Zarrella pointed to several quality initiatives that have been implemented throughout GM.

    • Supplier Selection and Improvement Supplier quality has shown double-digit improvement over the last year. This has been accomplished with our supply base through more collaborative efforts, clearer communication (GM SupplyPower) and one set of clearly defined expectations.
    • Red X Problem Solving Teams from a variety of disciplines within GM meet weekly to improve quality controls and resolve problems. The impact on quality is considerable.
    • Engineering Change Management GM has implemented strict rules for vehicle content that results in a common and consistent lifecycle planning strategy. GM also has decreased the number of engineering changes allowed after approval to produce a vehicle, forcing all aspects of vehicle design to be resolved earlier in the process.
    • Global Manufacturing System This is a system that brings together the best practices from every GM plant, in order to achieve world-class results. GM manages first-time product quality through a mathematical measure called direct run rate. Beyond the obvious customer benefits, GM's gains in first-time quality have resulted in less assembly plant repairs and a reduction in non-scheduled overtime by approximately 30 percent.

"These initiatives are driving through the entire company, including the major product development functions of design, engineering, purchasing, manufacturing and sales and marketing," Zarrella said.

Additionally, Zarrella praised the UAW-GM Quality Network, a joint effort to provide GM customers the world's most exciting automotive products, parts and services. Through teamwork, UAW members have contributed greatly to GMs quality gains, he said.

"This is a passion of our entire workforce," he said. "Our suppliers, our dealers and all business partners have also contributed to our efforts to improve quality and customer satisfaction."

About General Motors

General Motors (NYSE: GM), the world's largest vehicle manufacturer, designs, builds and markets cars and trucks worldwide. In 2000, GM earned $5 billion on sales of $183.3 billion. It employs about 372,000 people globally. GM also operates one of the largest and most successful financial services companies, GMAC, which offers automotive, mortgage and business financing and insurance services to customers worldwide. GM is investing aggressively in digital technology and e-business within its global automotive operations

and through such initiatives as e-GM, GM BuyPower, OnStar and its Hughes Electronics Corp. (NYSE: GMH) subsidiary. More information on General Motors can be found at www.gm.com


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