In two influential studies from J.D. Power and Associates, GM got both ends of the stick. The Detroit automaker finished strong in the firm's 2013 Initial Quality Study released in June, but it ranked midpack in the firm's Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout report a month later.
Mike Hardie pays a lot of attention to those studies. Hardie directs global quality strategy at GM, whose U.S. brands are Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC. In IQS, some of GM's awarded products are its oldest: the soon-to-be-discontinued Chevrolet Avalanche, the outgoing Cadillac Escalade and the old GMC Sierra 1500. Tech-laden new Cadillacs, by contrast, earned no awards.
That may not mean older technology, particularly around the often-scrutinized multimedia system, is automatically better from a things-gone-wrong standpoint, Hardie said. He spoke with Cars.com earlier today.
"Simpler can excel, and I think quite honestly that pushes its way to new technology, as well," Hardie said. He pointed to the redesigned Chevrolet Impala, which nabbed Consumer Reports' top score among sedans on Thursday. The magazine called the Impala's multimedia system "refreshingly intuitive and easy to use."