Bob Lutz, General Motors vice chairman, said GM would be improving its quality to equal that of Japanese rivals Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. Ltd. in two or three years, according to Reuters. Lutz added that it would take about five years for GM’s improved quality to be fully acknowledged by the buying public. J.D. Power and Associates’ Initial Quality Study (IQS) polls owners during their first three months of ownership and provides a benchmark on quality for the automotive industry. This year, GM was the first U.S. carmaker among multi-brand carmakers to place third in the IQS, behind Toyota and Honda. Lutz said Toyota and Honda would experience some of the quality problems that come with size as the two automakers expand their vehicle lineup and add more assembly plants in the U.S. But GM has halved the time it takes to put the solution to any vehicle quality problem into production on the assembly line, and will halve the time again. And GM’s improved quality is resulting in major savings in warranty costs. Many American consumers have avoided U.S.-made vehicles because they fell short of Japanese cars in quality. DaimlerChrysler AG’s U.S. Chrysler division started offering a seven-year warranty on its engines last year, to show consumers it backed up the quality of its vehicles. Chrysler ranked fourth in the IQS this year, and Ford ranked fifth.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials