How could Ford Motor Co.’s Mercury brand outperform its Blue Oval stablemate in the J.D. Power and Associates 2007 Vehicle Dependability Study when the marques are identical? That’s a question that has plagued researchers since the advent of vehicle-quality studies, says Joe Ivers, executive director-quality and customer satisfaction, J.D. Power and Associates. “As long as there have been customer-survey measurements, you see this 100% of the time,” he says. “At first it seems ...

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