While the Ford Explorer will carry on into the 2023 model year unchanged in North America, the crossover recently received a refresh for the Chinese market, where it’s also produced locally. This doesn’t come as a huge surprise given the fact that Ford is working to differentiate its vehicles in China to appeal to customers in that country. Now, that effort appears to be paying off, as the Ford Explorer was the highest-ranked SUV in the recently-released 2022 China Initial Quality Study (IQS), which also saw Changan Ford record a respectable sixth-place finish.
The Ford Explorer finished as the top-ranked large SUV in China on the latest IQS, finishing ahead of the Toyota Highlander and Volkswagen Teramont. It’s a particularly strong showing for the Explorer, which has truly found its footing in China, even spurring the creation of a special anniversary edition there recently.
J.D. Power’s China Initial Quality Study measures initial vehicle quality by examining problems experienced by new-vehicle owners within the first two to six months of ownership. Overall initial quality is determined by problems cited per 100 vehicles, with a lower number of problems indicating higher quality. The 2022 study is based on responses from 3,914 vehicle owners who purchased their vehicle between June 2021 and March 2022. The study includes 247 models from 56 different brands and was fielded from December 2021 through May 2022 in 70 major cities across China.
“The improvement of vehicle quality is not overnight,” said Elvis Yang, general manager of auto product practice, J.D. Power China. “From the beginning of design to the quality management system, production process optimization and the collaboration of the supply chain, every part needs to be refined to achieve the final quality improvement. With the advent of the intelligence era, the quality problems caused by design is rising. Manufacturers should pay more attention to the R&D and design stage to improve new-vehicle quality.”