General Motors Corp. announced it was recognized as the best-performing domestic manufacturer in initial quality by J.D. Power and Associates. GM had 12 top-three performing vehicles, including four that were ranked highest in their seg-ments, and three GM assembly plants were named best in initial quality for North America, accord-ing to the J.D. Power and Associates 2002 Initial Quality Study. 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. GM dominated North America in plant quality, with the Oshawa 2, Ontario, car plant (Buick Century and Regal) placing first and the Bowling Green, KY (Chevrolet Corvette) car plant placing second in the annual study. The Lansing C, MI, (Pontiac Grand Am, Oldsmobile Alero) car plant tied for third with the New United Manufacturing Motors Inc. (NUMMI) plant (Chevrolet Prizm) in Fremont, CA. NUMMI is a joint venture between GM and Toyota. In the latest study, GM had 12 vehicles in the top three of their respective segments. Segment awards include the Chevrolet Malibu for entry midsize car, Buick Century for premium midsize car, Chevrolet Corvette for premium sports car, and Buick LeSabre for full-size car.Second-place finishers include the Oldsmobile Alero for entry midsize car, Chevrolet Monte Carlo for premium midsize car, Chevrolet S10 pickup for compact pickup (tie), Chevrolet Silverado LD for full-size pickup, and the Chevrolet Tahoe for full-size SUV. Third-place finishers include the Chevrolet Prizm for compact car, Pontiac Grand Am entry mid-size car and Pontiac Bonneville for full-size car (tie). According to J.D. Power, GM outpaced all domestic manufacturers with a 30 percent initial quality improvement over the last five years. During that same period, GM also had the top three performers in improvement in initial quality in the industry. The Chevrolet Malibu made the biggest gain by improving 58 percent in the last five years. The Buick Century and Chevrolet Corvette were among three vehicles tied for second with a 49 percent improvement during that period.