James David Power III, who turned a scrappy home business that tracked customer satisfaction with new-vehicle quality into a giant global market research firm that today monitors everything from consumers’ experience with new-car sales and service, to auto lenders, airlines, health care providers, homebuilders and hoteliers, died Saturday. He was 89.
Power died of natural causes at his home in Westlake Village, Calif., his son, James David Power IV, said by telephone.
J.D. Power, today headquartered in Troy, Mich., was launched in the family kitchen with automotive customer surveys that measured and ranked new-vehicle quality.
The company’s annual initial quality survey, which measures problems with new vehicles in the first 90 days of ownership, and a separate study that tracks long-term dependability are perhaps the most closely watched performance benchmarks for reliability in the auto industry.
The company entered the auto market with its first client, Toyota, in 1969.
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