The Ford Ranger is best in class in Thailand according to a new survey of owners; emerging from the crowded pickup segment as Best Pickup in Initial Quality.

According to J.D. Power Asia Pacific, the Ranger ranks highest for initial quality in Thailand in the 2000 Thailand Initial Quality Study released this week. The 2000 Thailand IQS, in its inaugural year, is based on responses from 2,147 passenger car and light truck owners and monitors the number of reported problems consumers experience during the first three to five months of ownership.

The study has been an automotive industry standard benchmark of initial vehicle quality in the United States since 1987 and is based on problems-per-100 vehicles covering 135 specific problem areas.

The Ford Ranger scored much better than the industry average in the pickup segment in Thailand. The average is 263 problems per 100 vehicles and the Ranger came in at 225 PP100 according to J.D. Power. That's a full 15 points better than the three nearest competitors in the market, the Isuzu Spacecab, Isuzu Spark and Nissan Big M.

"The pickup segment is certainly the most competitive," said Chris Bonsi, director at J.D. Power Asia Pacific. "For Ford to accomplish their top ranking in such a short period of time is a tribute to their focus in quality at Auto Alliance Thailand."