Ranking near the bottom has been a wakeup call for Volvo.
In this year's JD Power Initial Quality Study, the Korean Hyundai Motor Group scored a 1-2-3 finish with its Genesis, Kia, and Hyundai brands. Towards the bottom of the list, the Swedish Volvo brand didn't fair so well - finishing third-to-last behind only the British Jaguar and Land Rover brands. Speaking to Automotive News, Volvo R&D boss Henrik Green said the poor score was due to quality issues with the newly launched XC90 SUV.
Since the introduction of the XC90, Volvo has improved its quality on models like the XC60. Green said the XC60 was the most successful launch in the brand's history in terms of quality. JD Power measures initial quality by how many repairs are needed in the first three months of ownership, so there was likely a lot of carryover from early XC90 models in the study. Volvo promises that next year's study will be a different story, thanks to the US-built S60 sedan. It has been a while since Volvo has had a successful sedan, as Green says 2002 was the last time the S60 was successful with 107,000 units sold globally.
This new S60 has a lot of weigh on its metaphorical shoulders. Not only does the S60 have to content with established rivals like the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, and Mercedes C-Class, as well as upstarts like the Tesla Model 3, it will also have to turn the company's quality around in a big way. Hopefully the S60 is up to the task.