Prior to launching J.D. Power and Associates from his kitchen table in 1968, Dave Power worked for the Ford Motor Company as a financial analyst and later for Marplan as a marketing research consultant for General Motors Corporation. He also worked as a marketing research executive for J.I. Case Company, a construction and farm equipment manufacturer, and was director of corporate planning for McCulloch Corporation, a Los Angeles-based engine manufacturer.
Power said after many years of toiling for other companies, he decided to break away and do something on his own. “I never use the word ‘entrepreneur,'” he told CV Happening at the “Day of Innovation” Saturday in Agoura Hills. “I just I wanted to do my own thing with what I knew.”
He recalls those early years at his then-home in Calabasas as a family affair. “We all worked at the business initially,” he said. “My kids would prepare our questionnaires at the table.”
One of his first major clients was Toyota Motor Company, though it wasn’t an easy acquisition. “None of the people in the American office wanted to see me,” he said. But after much persistence, he got an appointment with Kiichiro Toyoda, Toyota’s founder. “After that, Toyota became 75 percent of my business and 150 percent of my time.” he said.
Power, who has four children and 12 grandchildren, is considered an innovator in the marketing business, having revolutionized the automotive industry with its customer satisfaction research. J.D. Power and Associates currently has offices all across the globe.
He said he is honored to be recognized by the City of Agoura Hills for his work and book Power: How JD Power Became the Auto Industry’s Advisor, Confessor, an Eye Witness to History, Sarah Morgans and Bill Thorness..
A descriptive synopsis from the book reads:
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.
In addition to addressing the community last Saturday, Power will take part in a “Fireside Discussion” at the Agoura Hills Library, Wednesday, April 31, at 6:30 p.m. with librarian Nina Hull.