U.S. market: Toyota is now #2 - too bad, Ford

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Evil top-poster razz wrote:


According to the surveys, they hold up better in the long term.

What marketing goes into slanting those surveys and putting bias into JD Powers and Cons;umer Reports surveys? And why did CR recently announce that they no longer recommended the 4WD Tundra and the 6- speed automatic Camry? And for at least a year CR has rated the Ford Focus/Mercury Milan as one of the most reliable vehicles and said that at only 30% of all new Fords had worse than average reliability. Where's the pro-Toyota or anti-Ford, anti-GM bias here?
Most of the marketing that brags about vehicle longevity has come from Ford and GM, especially for their trucks.

Even the America-hating New York Times mentioned it just a few years ago, in an article about the Dodge Dart being a collectible car. Lots of people know about the greatness of the Slant Six and the Torqueflite automatics.

The Toyota sludge problem has been mentioned a lot over the past couple of years. Where did you get the idea that the mainstream news media has had only praise for Toyota (many articles about Toyota becoming #1 have pointed out the sludge problem and high number of recalls) and only criticism for the Detroit Three?
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"razz" ...

Depends on the product. I wouldn't touch a Ford "economy" car right now, but I would buy their minivan or truck.
Natalie

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Wickeddoll wrote:

Funny, I am considering a Focus for my next car, if I buy new. It won't have an automatic transmission, so that eliminates most American cars. Most likely I will have a Focus, a Pontiac Vibe, Toyota Prius, Honda Civic, Honda Civic (with or without hybrid), Ford Escape or Escape Hybrid, Dodge Caliber, Mazda 3, Chevy Cobalt or Malibu Hybrid, Saturn Aura or Astra (with or without hybrid) or Honda Fit.
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"Jeff" ...

*snerk* that reminds me of a (ventriloquist)Jeff Dunham joke:
"Did you ever hear a Prius go by? It goes eeeeyyyyooowwnngI'M GAYnnnnng! And when the engine can't turn over, it goes, homohomohomohomohomo."
Mean, I know.
:-)
Natalie
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I looked at a Focus for my son. They were nice enough, but in the end we got a Mazda3. The main reason was front seat leg room (my son has long legs). Of the smaller cars available today, the Mazda3 seemed to have the best room for my son (and me). We got the upgraded model (4 wheel disc brakes, power windows, cruise ABS, A/C). My son wanted an automatic. I like the car very much. It has as much front seat leg room as my Fusion, but not quite as much head room. As you would expect the hip room is less, but I actually prefer the seats. It is not as quiet as the Fusion, but it is not noisy either. The trunk is very large. The only negative I see is that the Mazda3 CD player doesn't do MP3s (in some models they do - not sure what determines which you get). My son didn't care - it has an auxiliary input and he has all his music on an iPod. My Son actually prefers the Mazda3 to the 2004 Accord his Mother formerly let him drive. He says it has more leg room. We also looked at Corollas and Sentras, but they were more expensive and not even as nice as the Focus we test drove. I was not surprised that the Corolla was wildly overpriced, but I was shocked at the asking price on the Sentra (and I even qualify for Nissan Supplier Pricing). The Mazda3 was more expensive than a comparable Focus, but the extra leg room made it worth the difference.
And finally, the Mazda dealer was great! Wonderful buying experience. I emailed a bunch of dealers looking for prices. The Mazda dealer quoted me a price well under supplier pricing (Mazda S Plan). They took us around the lot and opened every Mazda3 we asked about and turned us loose with 2 different Mazda3s to test drive. When we decided we wanted a different car than originally quoted, they gave me an even better price.
Ed
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Ed White wrote: <...>

Sounds like a great car. I am glad it is already on my short list. I just hope my dealer is as good as yours (regardless of which make I get).
Jeff
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Well a good experience with the dealership can make a big difference. Poor Customer service is the main reason I am driving a Frontier instead of a Tacoma today.
Ed
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Wickeddoll wrote:

You too? I've used Bell Road Toyota -- the buying experience is rarely pleasant there (was even worse when cocaine was more popular), but the mechanics seem to be very good, although labor rates are on the high side.
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I spent a week at Big 2 Olds/Toyota (now Mitsubishi/Scion/Toyota) back in the 1980's, and they had a good service department back then. They may still be worth a try.
--

Ray O
(correct punctuation to reply)
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"Ray O" ...

DOH! I missed this response. I heard Bell Road is good for mechanics, and that Larry Miller was better for sales. I avoided either after the debacle.

NOW you tell me.
:-)
Natalie
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You didn't ask ;-)
--

Ray O
(correct punctuation to reply)
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razz wrote:

I know that, but odds are that if I buy a Toyota I won't need the dealer as much as if I buy a Ford. Also the Toyota and Nissan dealers around here seem to take problems more seriously and not dismiss everything as being "normal", as the Ford dealer that rated 7th best in the US does.
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On Sun, 6 Jan 2008 16:21:02 -0800 (PST), "larry moe 'n curly"

It's funny how everyone just ignores the horrible sludge problems that burned up so many Toyota engines. Then there was the head gasket problems. And Honda has some transmission that has a major defect that they pretend it doesn't have till you twist their arm, otherwise they just tell you it's "normal" and hope you'll go away till the warranty expires. And there is the Isuzu that cloged it's hydraulic lifters if you didn't use synthetic oil in it but of course they don't tell you that till after you complain about the noise. There isn't a dime's worth of difference in the reliability of Ford's and Chevy's compared to the "imports". For some reason it's fashionable to knock American cars now days no matter what the facts are. People who get 250K miles from the American car somehow aren't satisfied and still go buy an import due to the constant negative BS about American cars.
It probably wouldn't frost my balls so much if I didn't see how our fleet of thousands of American vehicles performs. They just roll up the miles yet get no respect.
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Ashton Crusher wrote:

Except that Toyotas and Hondas last longer, on average, than those from the Michigan 3. At least those that have been on the road long enough for us to know.
http://www.jdpower.com/press-releases/pressrelease.aspx?id 07130

Except that it's not BS.

There's no doubt that cars from the Michigan 3 last longer than they used to and their quality has greatly improved. So has the quality of the imports. Toyota really worked hard in 2007 to decrease the number of recalls last year.
Jeff
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That survey has nothing to do with how long a vehicle lasts. It surveys an owner to determine how many problems they have with a three year old car. The average three year old Ford had 2.21 problems, the average 3 year old Toyota had 1.8 problems. If you round them both off to the nearest problem, they both had 2 problems......Not a significant difference.
Ed
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C. E. White wrote:

That's 25% fewer problems.
I would consider that significant.
Jeff

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Well since JD Powers didn't give us a margin of error on the statistics, it might be that there is no actual difference. Then again your math is not to good either. You could say a Ford has 23% more problems than a Toyota, or that a Toyota has 19% fewer problems than a Ford - but no where can I get a 25% difference....
At any rate using percentage in this manner is the sort of clever disinformation that Toyota likes to use. Saying that the average 3 year old Toyota owner has 25% fewer problems is misleading if not downright dishonest. The old saying - "Figures don't lie, but liars figure" - seems appropriate in this case. You can make a case that the average Toyota owner had ..maybe...one fewer problem than the average Ford owner, but that is about all. You don't even have any comparison of the cost of the problems. It might be that the three year old Ford owner had three problems that cost nothing, while the three year old Toyota owner had 2 problems that cost $5k dollars (even if covered by warranty). I think the only thing you can draw from that particular JD Powers press release is that most three years old cars from the volume manufacturers have very few problems. Did you notice that 3 year old Scions (a Toyota after all) had essentially the same number of problems as 3 year old Fords? And how do you explain that three year old Mercuys had fewer problems than three year old Toyotas (6 % fewer problems..). Mercurys are just rebadged Fords. Why would they be so much more reliable?
Ed
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C. E. White wrote:

I haven't looked at JD Powers surveys, but Consumer Reports rarely shows much difference among rebadged cars from the same manufacturer. Also CR shows Scions to be more reliable than Fords of the same ages.
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That is the case now, but it wasn't always the case. I believe CR got wise and now blends the data for badge engineered cars.

Which Scions and which Fords. But honestly, any short comings for the JD Power results are trivial compared to the completely unscientific CR survey. I feel bad just using the term "survey" when describing the CR popularity contest.
CR reliability ratings Scion tC - very good Scion xB - very good Ford Crown Victoria - very good Ford Fusion - very good All the other Ford cars are rated average. Hard to know if there is much of a statistical difference between average and very good.
Ed
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C. E. White wrote:

Yet, there may be problems more common to one brand vs. another. For example, there may be problems that show up more only in the 4-cylinder Atkinson engines that are available only in Ford Escapes and Mercury Mariners, so the Mazda Tribute might be affected less often than the Mercury Mariner and Ford Escape, affecting the numbers of these three vehicles.
In addition, owners of brand may have different tolerances of different things failing. For example, buyers of Mercuries might be bothered more by the recall of the heater blower resistor that had to be replaced in my Ford Contour, so Mercury Mystique owners might be more likely to report blower resistors that had to be replaced under recall as a problem than Ford Contour owners.
So even sister vehicles might have different problem records because of different hardware or different perceptions of what is expected.
Jeff
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