J.D. Power

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J.D. Power
J.D. Power and Associates
IndustryMarketing Research
FoundedLos Angeles, California (1968)
FounderJ.D. Power III
HeadquartersCosta Mesa, California, United States
Key people
Dave Habiger, President and CEO
OwnerXIO Group
Number of employees

J.D. Power is an American-based global marketing information services company founded in 1968 by James David Power III. The company conducts surveys of customer satisfaction, product quality, and buyer behavior for industries ranging from cars to marketing and advertising firms. The firm is best known for its customer satisfaction research on new-car quality and long-term dependability. Its service offerings include industry-wide syndicated studies, proprietary research, consulting, training, and automotive forecasting.[1] The firm is headquartered in Costa Mesa, California.[2]

McGraw Hill Financial purchased it from James David Power III in April 2005,[3] and the private investment group XIO Group paid $1.1 billion to acquire the company in 2016.[4] Dave Habiger was named its President and CEO in March 2018, with the objective of continuing to aggressively build and enhance the company's data and analytics and customer insights leadership.[5]


J.D. Power was founded in 1968 by James David Power III. Power had previously worked in advertising and doing customer research for the Ford Motor Company, where he felt customer satisfaction data was too often overlooked. He later joined Marplan, and then McCulloch, a chainsaw manufacturer. He left his position at McCulloch and founded J.D. Power and Associates on April 1, 1968, working at first from his kitchen table. The company incorporated on February 7, 1969. The "associates" referred to in the firm's title were his wife, who assisted him with market research, and his children, who helped stuff envelopes.[6][7][8]

In 1973, the company first drew significant national attention when Power's wife, working from the results of customer surveys, discovered a design flaw in the O-rings of certain Mazda rotary engines. The report was then publicized by the Wall Street Journal and widely repeated in other outlets. In the following years, J.D. Power and Associates became particularly known for its automotive customer satisfaction rankings, while continuing to work in other areas such as food and computers. The firm created the first Dealer Attitude Study in 1976 and the U.S. Automotive Customer Satisfaction Index in 1981.[6][7]

In a commercial during Super Bowl XVIII in 1984, Subaru became the first company to use its ranking in the J.D. Power Awards to promote its product, which one journalist described as a "watershed moment for the company." In the decades since, J.D. Power's rankings have appeared in more than 2 billion advertisements and become "an international household name".[8][9]

In 2002, the company moved its headquarters from Agoura Hills, CA to the Westlake neighborhood of Los Angeles.[10] In 2005, James David Power was ready to retire and sold the firm to McGraw Hill Financial and also resigned as chairman. The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the company's value was estimated at the time to be $400 million.[11]

J.D. Power remained a subsidiary of McGraw Hill for 11 years, with approximately 800 employees gathering and analyzing customer data. That year, it was sold again, this time to the private investment group XIO Group for $1.1 billion.[12] J.D. Power expanded its offerings to sell financial and insurance products through car dealerships in 2017.[13] In March 2018, Dave Habiger was named its President and CEO, with the objective of continuing to aggressively build and enhance the company's data and analytics and customer insights leadership.[14]

Marketing research[edit]

A selection of the awards presented to the Ford Motor Company by J.D. Power in 2007

J.D. Power's marketing research consists primarily of consumer surveys. J.D. Power ratings are based on the survey responses of randomly selected and/or specifically targeted consumers. Although publicly known for the endorsement value of its product awards, J.D. Power obtains the majority of its revenue from corporations that seek the data collected from J.D. Power surveys for internal use.[1] Companies which have used J.D. Power surveys range from automotive, cellphone, and computer manufacturers to home builders and utility companies. To be able to use the J.D. Power logo and to quote the survey results in advertising, companies must pay a licensing fee to J.D. Power.[1]

Automotive surveys[edit]

J.D. Power conducts multiple annual surveys of the automotive industry in the U.S. as well as in other countries. The Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS) is a measure of problems experienced after three years of ownership, while the Initial Quality Study (IQS) is a measure of problems experienced within the first 90 days of ownership.[15] Other surveys include the APEAL survey, reflecting consumer's attitudes towards a vehicle's attributes, dealership service surveys, and customer purchasing experience surveys. Similar versions of the Vehicle Dependability and Initial Quality Studies are performed internationally, and usually released with the country's name, followed by the same title, e.g. China Initial Quality Study.[16]

In the United Kingdom, the J.D. Power UK Car Customer Satisfaction Index reviews all cars that have reached two years of age at the time of publication. Surveys are conducted in partnership with UK automotive publication What Car?, which publishes the survey results.[17] The UK car survey consists of comments and ratings entirely from the members of the public who bought the cars new two years previously. Satisfaction is based on a number of different criteria, and when the many thousands of marks in each area for each car are added up to form an overall score.[18] The list usually comprises about 130 cars and is published every year in the United Kingdom. The survey was produced in conjunction with the BBC's Top Gear Magazine for many years until the mid-2000s (decade).

International research[edit]

J.D. Power research surveys are conducted using local languages in Brazil, India, Japan, Taiwan, China, Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Canada, Mexico, Europe, Australia, Germany, UAE and the UK.[19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "USNews.com: From boats to Internet service, J. D. Power lives to rank". US News. 2004-03-07. Retrieved 2007-04-05.
  2. ^ "Contact Us Archived 2009-10-01 at the Wayback Machine.." J. D. Power and Associates. Retrieved on June 10, 2013.
  3. ^ "McGraw-Hill surprises analysts with purchase of J.D. Power". Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  4. ^ Staff and wire reports. "XIO Group acquires J.D. Power for $1.1 billion in cash". Automotive News. Retrieved 2016-09-08.
  5. ^ Jamie Butters (March 21, 2018). "New CEO Says His Job Is to Help J.D. Power Grow Faster". Bloomberg. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
  6. ^ a b Al Lewis (December 18, 2013). "How J.D. Power made companies listen to the customer". Market Watch. Retrieved April 10, 2013.
  7. ^ a b Taryn Luna (January 12, 2014). "Seven Things You Need to Know about James David Power". Boston Globe. Retrieved April 10, 2018.
  8. ^ a b Roger Schlueter (April 1, 2017). "This is how J.D. Power became a big deal". Retrieved April 10, 2018.
  9. ^ Eric Schilling (December 6, 2017). "Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About The JD Power Awards". Jalopnik. Retrieved April 10, 2018.
  10. ^ "J.D. Power Moving to New Headquarters". Los Angeles Times. April 11, 2002. Retrieved April 10, 2018.
  11. ^ John O'Dell (March 8, 2005). "J.D. Power to Be Bought by McGraw-Hill". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 10, 2018.
  12. ^ Leslie Picker (April 15, 2016). "McGraw Hill to Sell J.D. Power for $1.1 Billion". The New York Times. Retrieved April 10, 2018.
  13. ^ Jackie Charniga. "Dave Habiger, J.D. Power's new CEO, is tech expert and car guy". Automotive News. Retrieved April 10, 2018.
  14. ^ Jamie Butters (March 21, 2018). "New CEO Says His Job Is to Help J.D. Power Grow Faster". Bloomberg. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
  15. ^ Cheryl Jensen (October 30, 2012). "Why Consumer Reports and J.D. Power Are So Different". The New York Times. Retrieved April 10, 2018.
  16. ^ "Domestic and International Brand Vehicle Initial Quality Gap Continues to Narrow, J.D. Power Finds". JD Power. Retrieved April 10, 2018.
  17. ^ What Car? JD Power Survey
  18. ^ 2004 UK Car Customer Satisfaction Index
  19. ^ About J.D. Power | J.D. Power

External links[edit]