•  Best in low defect rate category/Other Opel models climb in rankings in 2007
  •  Opel Managing Director Demant: “Our quality initiative is clearly reaping rewards”

The Opel Meriva has achieved the lowest defect rate in the TÜV report 2007. Introduced in 2003 and now tested for the first time (first general inspection is three years after initial registration), the minivan immediately established itself as the top performer in this quality check. 113 different models with ages up to three years are indexed. Faults were only found in 1.8 percent of the bestselling Opel Merivas that were checked; the industry average was 5.9 percent.

Opel Meriva-lowest defect rate
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“Our comprehensive quality initiative is clearly paying off,” says Hans H. Demant, Opel Managing Director. “There is hardly a better indicator than this success achieved by one of our newest models. And the overall results for the Opel model range show that we are on the right track.” Compared to last year’s results, almost all of Opel’s models improved significantly in the TÜV report 2007, both in the rankings as well as the defect rate percentages. In addition to the Meriva, the Corsa (4.4 percent), Vectra (4.5 percent), Agila (4.8 percent) and Astra (5.1 percent) are all better positioned than the industry average. This puts all the models in the low defect rate category.

The Meriva’s victory is even more significant considering that a model rarely achieves a defect rate of less than two percent, and the next placed competitors scored well over this figure. The TÜV report 2007 records the results of all general inspections that were conducted according to §29 of the German Road Traffic Regulations (StVZO) by TÜV test centers from July 2005 through June 2006. It is based on the results of over seven million vehicle checks during the reporting period.

The significant progress shown in the TÜV report 2007 is the result of General Motors’ global quality initiative. The important aspects of GM’s integrated quality philosophy are standardized development (Global Vehicle Development Process) and manufacturing processes (Global Manufacturing System). Five principles are applied in all plants: People involvement, Standardization, Built-in-quality, Short lead time and Continuous improvement. Every employee on the production line, for example, is obliged to stop production if a problem occurs that absolutely cannot be resolved within the specified cycle time.

Opel Meriva-lowest defect rate
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In light of suppliers’ growing role in the manufacturing of cars, supplier quality is becoming more and more important. General Motors Europe supports suppliers with a team of more than 100 specialist engineers that works solely on preventing or solving possible quality problems of partners at their source. And with notable success: the percentage of supplier components that failed to meet the quality norms sank in the last years by 80 percent.

“The spotlight on quality continues to intensify and expand. To only focus on production quality would not be enough,” says Peter G. Dersley, GME Vice President responsible for Quality. “It is very clear to us that we can only make significant progress in the various aspects of quality when we also completely satisfy our customers regarding what we call perceptual quality and the entire image of the car.”

Blas Nicusor
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