Survey: GM, Chrysler below average in quality

Do try to pay attention Mikey
Survey: GM, Chrysler below average in quality http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070607/AUTO01/706070378/1148
DETROIT -- All of General Motors Corp.'s and the Chrysler Group's brands scored below average in initial vehicle quality, J.D. Power and Associates reported Wednesday.
While Ford Motor Co. had more segment-leading 2007 model-year vehicles than Toyota Motor Corp. in the annual survey, which tracks quality during the first 90 days of ownership, its crosstown rivals stumbled.
All but three of the 11 nameplates owned by GM and Chrysler performed worse than they did a year ago in the closely watched quality survey. The results could hinder sales efforts.
"Customers are desperate for outsides sources" of information on quality, said Jim Hall, an analyst with AutoPacific Inc. in Southfield. "It has an effect."
GM's Cadillac luxury brand fell farthest, from seventh to 25th place, followed by the Chrysler brand, which dropped from 11th to 27th place. GM's Buick, Saab and Hummer brands notched up in the field of 35.
"I'm not happy, I can tell you that. We didn't execute," said Jamie Hresko, GM's vice president of quality. "We were average and we don't want to be average."
A number of complicated product launches increased glitches in new vehicles, he said. GM became aware of a number of problems, particularly in the Cadillac line, through its own research and has already fixed the mistakes, he said. GM launched 19 new models in 2006.
Despite the disappointment, GM had success in some traditionally strong areas, namely trucks. The automaker had the highest-ranked large pickup with the Chevrolet Silverado Classic HD, the top van with the Chevrolet Express and the best-ranked large car in the Pontiac Grand Prix.
Chrysler's struggles similar
Chrysler introduced 10 new models in 2006 and faced some of the same struggles as GM.
While the J.D. Power survey wasn't flattering, the Auburn Hills automaker is encouraged that its warranty costs were down 4 percent last year from 2005, said Chrysler spokesman Sam Locricchio.
Chrysler's Dodge Dakota pickup was third in the midsize truck category and the Chrysler Aspen got good marks for a newly launched vehicle."To launch that much fresh product and still have that many positives is an accomplishment," Locricchio said.
Standards up industrywide
J.D. Power's Neal Oddes noted that product launches are becoming a "key differentiator" of quality in the industry, namely because new products are coming out with increasing frequency.
Oddes, director of product research and analysis, also agreed with points raised by both GM and Chrysler -- the quality gap between brands has narrowed vastly over the years. Significant differences remain, however, at the model level.
As standards ratchet up industrywide, automakers must produce quality vehicles to get consumers to even consider their vehicles. And Detroit's automakers can't afford any bad news in the marketplace, he said.
"If you try to get by without building a quality car, you might as well forget it," AutoPacific's Hall said.
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Anyone who is paying attention and is intellectually honest knows that American car quality is average at best......
Sad really

http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070607/AUTO01/706070378/1148
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I'll draw your attention to the paragraph in the middle of the article:
"I'm not happy, I can tell you that. We didn't execute," said Jamie Hresko, GM's vice president of quality. "We were average and we don't want to be average."
And wish you a good day......
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And a good day to you also.
It is a bit troubling to read they performed worse than last year, but, it that so bad? Average is still pretty good compared to "very good" some years ago.
If you go back a few decades, it was common to have a list of 10 or 20 items for the dealer to repair under the short warranty that was given. Of the last four cars I've bought new, only two went back to the dealer for anything under warranty, the other two have never had an issue.
Remember, now matter how good a brand is, if you have only three, one will be above, one will be below, the other will be average. Unless we delve further and look at major defects per thousand vehicles, and minor defects per thousand vehicles, to say just "average" is meaningless. The spinmaster will make what they want of it.
If you only have two cars, one will come in second, the other next to last. That would be terrible.
--
Ed
http://pages.cthome.net/edhome/



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I can agree with you, today's average is pretty good.
If average is what you want it seems clear where you should be shopping. I always try to buy the best quality I can afford.
You may have heard the old saying "Cheap tools cost more than good tools" Meaning cheap tools usually break at the worst possible time ( Murphy's law ). Then, you have a choice, buy another cheap tool to replace it or buy the good tool you should have bought the first time.
My cars and truck are tools of my business that help me earn a profit. If my vehicles aren't working, I'm not working. The better quality cars or trucks will likely spend less time in the shop and be worth more at trade in time too.
If Toyota stops building better than average products, I'll stop buying them, just like I stopped buying American cars and trucks.
If you know of a better product than Toyota let me know. Please.
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Search the Tribune Newspapers site for the article headlined, "Hyundai grabs the lead in 2007 auto quality. Toyota was down from 2006 survey, the leader in only one category.
mike
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Thanks Mike, you are helpful as always :)
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Jonas Grumby wrote:

Mike Hunter has a use?????????? Oh, I forgot that he does make a nice door stop.
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I was thinking more in terms of speed bump on the information superhighway
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You and Hunt are equally as useless, Higgins.
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Typical, when one does not like the message they attack the messenger LOL
mike

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There are many interpretations of the numbers. Does a burned out light bulb count as the same "one defect" as a blown engine? Would you avoid a brand that has double the number of defects over your choice? If in fact the truck with double the defects had a staticy radio and a loose glove box latch while the truck with only one defect had a differential gear go bad. Using strictly numbers, the truck that you could not drive is clearly the much better rated vehicle. But I doubt it will help that profit you need for your business.
IMO, the J D Powers numbers point out who the clear winner is: J D Powers. It makes for great advertising hype, but it does not tell how good or bad a vehicle really is.
As for good trucks, we have a 99 Silverado at work. Aside from normal wear items, it has not had a single defect, has never stopped running. Based on those simple facts, I'd rate it rather high.
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And yet, the new drive-train is truely amazing. You could buy a new car, and drive it for years without opening the hood.
When I think of all the fussing and maintenance that cars used to require up through the 70's...... Cars needed oil changes... grease jobs, plugs and points every 5K miles Shocks and muffler within 15K miles New battery every three years... and the rust.... especially in the snow belt. and on and on...
<rj>
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J D Powers releases the report as a list. Note the term 'average' Naturally, except for a tie, one will appear on any "list" sequentially from a best to worst. However if stated, as what the survey really shows as a percentage, the fact is ALL auto manufacturer will fall into the same 2% range that is the 'average' defect range for all types of manufacturing. A few will go a bit over 3% and a few will fall below 1% as did some Lincoln and Lexus models.
The "Strategic Vision" industry research group states the case more accurately, "the differences among brands today a basically meaningless." The point is does one need to spend 20% to 30% more to buy a particular brand in the hope that they will get one of any manufacture 98% that are not problematic, when the odds you will not get one of the 2%? ALL manufactures are building great, long lasting vehicles today.
I bought a bunch of cars from a luxury import brand up until 1999, they were great cars. I switched to a domestic luxury brand and they too have proven to be great cars, as well. The only differences I have found is domestics brand is costing me thousand less to replace and I am saving hundreds of dollar less annually to have the cars serviced at the domestic dealership than I was paying at the import brand dealership
mike

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This argument is like politicians and the media, when things are going well they love the media and the coverage but when things aren't going well the media is the bogey man. The problems that linger, like building millions of cars with known defective intake leaks and defective designs, and refusing to fix design problems, which cause expensive repairs, aren't easily covered up with PR, because people who had these problems figure out how to avoid them with future car purchases.
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Really? Do you think every 2007 model "Y" of brand "X" is exactly the same? Does every Toyota have a sludge problem or that every Honda has brake problems just because so many of them have those problems? How can one buy the same car you bought before, years later? Companies no longer sell the vehicles they sold even five years ago let alone fifteen years ago when they ALL had gasket problems because the government banned asbestos. ;)
mike

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