Initial Quality Should not be a thing

Okay, I'll give this a shot. Yes, as some people have mentioned, J.D. Power does bring in significant revenue from license agreements allowing OEMs to advertise their name as part of a "highest ranked" award. Yes, there are many different awards out there. I think what people don't realize is that J.D. Power also does a significant amount of work on 1:1 consulting engagements and data analytics. Much of J.D. Power's work is based on a lot of effort that's put into the various studies that, on first glance, may appear comical or of little worth. The reality is the company's most valuable asset is its name/brand. It's not going to put out research/results or issue awards for anything that would detract from the value of that brand. Coming back to initial quality - the OEMs (at some level) DO care about this study as well as the dependability (long term) study (otherwise known as the "Toyota" award), but you will notice the award recipients are not necessarily (or even often) the same. As someone else in this thread mentioned, these are measuring different aspects of vehicle ownership. Again, what you see on TV or hear on the radio is really a small portion of the work done by J.D. Power. The advertisements are obviously focused on the consumer and approved by J.D. Power prior to release to ensure they accurately reflect study results, but J.D. Power's work specifically is more often on a business/business relationship.

Source: I may or may not have once worked for J.D. Power.

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