And the Worst New Car Sold in America Is…

Print Email

Dozens of car brands are sold in America, most from manufacturers in Japan, South Korea, the United States and Germany. Two brands are English. One of these is the worst new car brand sold in the country, based on one of the most highly regarded car research companies in the world.

J.D. Power has just released its 2019 Initial Quality Study. The ratings are based on the number of problems owners or lessees have in the first 90 days they have their cars. More than 30 car brands were rated, and the bottom position was held by Jaguar.

The J.D. Power study sample based is huge: 76,256 purchasers and lessees who acquired their cars in 2019. The scale is a simple one. How many problems are there per hundred vehicles of each brand? The industry average was 93. Jaguar had 130. Jaguar XJ, for example, is among the cars no one in America wants to buy anymore.

The second worse brand was Land Rover, at 123. Land Rover shares a parent company with Jaguar, India’s Tata Motors. The top of the J.D. Power list was held by Genesis, which was the luxury division of Hyundai until it was spun out recently. Its score was 63.

Jaguar’s mechanical problems are legendary, and the problem goes back for decades. The trouble probably has not been helped by the fact that the brand has had a string of owners. Before Tata, these included British Motor and Ford. Jaguar has struggled under Tata’s ownership. Jaguar Land Rover, the company that makes both brands, posted a record quarterly loss earlier this year.

Jaguar is a niche brand in the United States. It sold only 2,021 vehicles in May, down 15% from the year before. It operates in the American luxury car category, the sales of which are dominated by Mercedes, BMW and Lexus. In such a crowded field, a stumble in quality reputation can only make Jaguar’s small market share worse. The best new car brands of 2019 list includes ratings for these luxury brands and many others.

I'm interested in the Newsletter