It takes time to build a reputation and it also takes time to
Detroit lost the perceived edge in quality and design in the
80's and has never gotten it back. US manufacturers don't
look far enough ahead, sticking to tried and true and ignoring
the future. Hybrids are a good example.
Remember the first Hondas and Toyotas in the US in the later
60's? They were jokes! I remember lots of automotive types
mocking those vehicles, and they were junk! But they kept at
it, and especially concentrated on quality. You ended up with
Japanese makes known for inexpensive price and high quality.
Japanese cars aren't any cheaper today than US cars, but the
reputation they made (and the reputation Detroit lost) is
still with us.
I've read of many quality surveys over the past few years
and they all seem to echo what you say.
US car quality has made huge strides forward compared to
the bad old days of the 80's when US manufactured autos
seemed to bottom out.
However, US makes still lag a bit behind the Japanese (Toyota
is the generally acknowledged king of quality), but the gap
is apparently closing.
European makes are much farther down in quality from the
close US and Japanese makes.
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