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POWER: How J.D. Power III Became the Auto Industry's Adviser, Confessor, and Eyewitness to History by [Morgans, Sarah, Thorness, Bill]
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POWER: How J.D. Power III Became the Auto Industry’s Adviser, Confessor, and Eyewitness to History Kindle Edition

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Length: 402 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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About the Author

Bill Thorness is a writer, avid cyclist, and expert gardener. He is the author of three guidebooks, speaks regularly through-out the Northwest on biking and on edible gardening, and leads bike tours to various gardens and farms around the region.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1021 KB
  • Print Length: 402 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0981833675
  • Publisher: Fenwick Publishing (27 Aug. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,038,044 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 3.3 out of 5 stars 11 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative and enjoyable read! 4 Nov. 2013
By Mike Lanza - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an eye-opening book about the value of customer feedback and the vision of J.D. Power III to see how it could improve quality across sectors. It is still relevant today as companies, nonprofits and government agencies try to understand how to make their products and services better for their customers.

Although J.D. Power had started in the automobile business in Detroit, as he gained more insight on the limitations of in-house research, he moved out to LA and started his own firm to produce independent market research.

The book chronicles the saga of bringing customer insights back to Detroit. The vivid and dramatic example of customer feedback that uncovered the Mazda drive-train problem was the highlight of the book for me.

This isn't your usual business book since it was entertaining to read and was also about the story of the family as the business and the family life intersected. The kids in the family helped the business by doing the work of taping the quarters on the questionnaires.

Enjoyable and informative read!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Visionary 6 Oct. 2013
By Susan Curtin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
J.D. Power was a true visionary making a major paradigm shift in how market research should be conducted. Instead of continuing to allow the automotive engineers to dictate product, the J.D. Power model gave the consumer the voice. For that, every vehicle on the road today is a better product offering. This is also a great story of how a young family risked everything, remained focused, and built a worldwide brand on the integrity of the data they produced. Inspiring.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Much less than I expected 25 Dec. 2013
By avidreader - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The books starts well telling about Dave Power's vision for measuring customer product evaluations, his integrity to go with the resluts in spite of their conclusions and his courage to stick with the outcomes even when he isw rejected by leaders in the auto industry. But the author becomes repetitive and uninteresting when he tells essentially the same story over and over, essentially just changing the names of the automotive company and the people involved. The book would be much better if we were told about some of the things Power learned from his studies and what companies did specifically in response to these results. I finally decided I didn't want to spend more time reading essentially the same thing again and put the book aside. I'm about half way through and may go back to it again in hopes that it gets better. But I have better things to read right now.
1 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars 12 more words required12 more words required12 more words required 30 Nov. 2013
By Personal - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Im a big automotive guy... this book is boring as hell. 12 more words required12 more words required12 more words required12 more words required12 more words required12 more words required12 more words required
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars BOOK REVIEW: 'POWER: How J.D. Power III Became the Auto Industry's Adviser, Confessor, and Eyewitness to History': Yes, There's 6 Mar. 2014
By David Kinchen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
It has been said that getting anything done in the Army bureaucracy is like mating elephants: It is done at very high levels with a lot of bellowing and it takes two years to get anything done.

I'm guessing that James David "Dave" Power III would find that quote about Army bureaucracy not unlike the first job he got out of college, working for the tractor division of Ford Motor Co.

Despite having an uncle in a high-level position at General Motors, Dave Power, born in Worcester, MA in 1931, wanted to get his first job by himself, according to "POWER: How J.D. Power III Became the Auto Industry's Adviser, Confessor, and Eyewitness to History" (Fenwick Publishing Group, Bainbridge Island, WA, 416 pages, foreword by CNBC's Bill Griffeth, afterword by Dave Power, index, notes, trade paperback, $19.95, available at Amazon.com and other online sources, also available in a Kindle edition).

Authors Sarah Morgans and Bill Thorness have produced a book that I've been waiting for...even if I didn't know it. I'm a car nut and I've also experienced the wrath of car dealers as an auto editor at The Milwaukee Sentinel in the 1970s, when one reporter I assigned a big Buick with a small displacement V6 engine gave the sedan a less than glowing review after a week of behind the wheel testing. The Buick dealer complained and the newspaper decided to end the well-received auto section, sticking to non-editorial-produced "advertorial" sections. My auto editor job disappeared and I went back to my regular duties as real estate editor.

What happened to me was nothing compared to what Dave Power experienced after he started what was literally a family business, J.D. Power and Associates, in Los Angeles in 1968. After making a name for his fledgling business when his research revealed the O-ring problems of Mazda's Wankel rotary engines, his customers were mainly other Japanese manufacturers like Honda and Toyota.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Japanese manufacturers were just getting a toehold in the U.S. I remember my 1972 road test of the newly introduced Honda Civic as auto editor in Milwaukee. I praised the Honda, comparing it to the British Mini, but with much better quality. It was one of the first mass-market front-wheel drive cars. I predicted success for the car at a time when VW was outselling it by a huge margin.

Drawing on his background as a Wharton MBA and his auditing experience at Ford Tractor, Power and his staff developed a statistically accurate tabulation of customer complaints and praise. The authors describe how, when the company that was initially his biggest foe -- Ford Motor Co.! -- challenged his model, Power hired three university statistics professors at $5,000 a head. After examining his methods, all three pronounced them statistically sound. The rest is history, as they say.

No other individual has had as broad an impact on the auto industry during the past fifty years as Dave Power. Dave's persistence in getting auto executives to listen to customer concerns was key to the across-the-board rise in car quality, and the influence of his J.D. Power and Associates rankings has permanently raised the bar on customer satisfaction.

Enhanced with anecdotal quotes from Dave Power as well as dozens of industry insiders, "POWER" is a compelling study of an intelligent, polite, market-research regular guy wonk who bluntly called them as he saw them. His unblinkingly honest research ended up making customer satisfaction a watchword -- not just in automotive but in all manufacturing and service industries.

Power's late wife Julie was an important factor in his company's success, as were his children who helped prepare the questionnaires for mailing to customers, complete with a shiny quarter pasted on the form.

At first -- largely because of his involvement with Japanese car makers -- the Big Three (GM, Ford and Chrysler) was hostile to J.D. Power & Associates, accusing the firm of being pro-import and anti-domestic car. After all, it was based in southern California, where imports were more accepted than in other parts of the country. Soon, however, most of the makers came to realize the value of the studies and the company became a worldwide success, with offices in Detroit, Europe, Japan and elsewhere. It was sold to McGraw-Hill Financial in 2005.

"POWER" is valuable because it describes how the idea of asking customers about quality issues -- something that sounds like common sense today -- was far from that in 1968 when Dave Power started his company. The book will appeal to car nuts, of course, but also to marketing students and general readers interested in the subject. Topics covered include the Audi 5000 sudden acceleration issue, which turned out to be false, and John Z. DeLorean and his "Back to the Future" sports car -- and how DeLorean scammed Power -- among dozens of other anecdotes. Including his experience with the beautiful but problem plagued Jaguar XJ6 sedan he owned.
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