DETROIT -- Honda Motor Co.'s powertrains are the new industry benchmark in General Motors' eyes.
Honda's engines and transmissions ranked first among those of six automakers included in an internal GM analysis of the latest J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Study data.
Honda powertrains had 15.3 problems per 100 vehicles in the first 90 days of ownership, according to data in the GM analysis obtained by Automotive News.
GM powertrains were second-best on the list -- ahead of Toyota Motor Corp. for the first time in eight years. Toyota ranked No. 1 in the GM analysis last year.
GM would not discuss the calculations it performed on the J.D. Power data to rank itself and five key competitors: Honda, Toyota, Nissan Motor Co., DaimlerChrysler and Ford Motor Co.
J.D. Power does not make its powertrain surveys public, but sells the reports to automakers for internal use. Buying the reports gives automakers access to the consultant's database of survey responses. GM compiled its rankings from the raw data.
GM regularly uses data from J.D. Power studies to study product quality and make improvements, spokeswoman Janine Fruehan said.
"Based on the data we have, we do feel that our automatic transmissions are industry-leading," Fruehan said. "Beyond that, I can't comment on an internal study."
According to the GM analysis, GM powertrains had 18.1 problems per 100 vehicles. Nissan ranked third among the six automakers at 18.3 problems per 100.
Toyota, last year's leader in the GM analysis, slipped to fourth this year. Its powertrains had 18.7 problems per 100 vehicles in this year's rankings, compared with 16.4 last year.
DaimlerChrysler powertrains had 24.3 problems per 100 vehicles, GM calculated. Ford had 26.6 problems per 100 vehicles.
Raw J.D. Power data included in the GM analysis indicate that Honda performed well in engine quality. Its engines had 10.1 problems per 100 vehicles in 2005, down from 11.8 in 2004.
GM ranked powertrain quality on a corporate basis, but also produced a ranking of 22 brands. In that list Jaguar came out on top, with 9.3 problems per 100 vehicles. Infiniti was second, and Buick was third, ahead of Toyota's Lexus Division. Cadillac placed fifth in the by-brand rankings of powertrain quality.
A J.D. Power spokesman would not comment on GM's analysis.
The Initial Quality Study, released Wednesday, May 18, asked owners to rate vehicle quality on 135 attributes across nine categories after 90 days of ownership. The categories include ride and handling, engine and transmission and fit and finish.
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