The Autobeat http://snipr.com/1n8lb
..General Motors and Chrysler tumbled down the list in J.D. Power and
Associates’ annual Initial Quality Study. The study measures problems
found in the first 90 days of ownership after interviewing 97,000
GM did poorly and a company spokesman argued that the survey doesn’t
matter. All of GM’s brands finished below the industry average, which
is 125 problems per 100 vehicles...
The reason it doesn’t matter, says the spokesman, is that the
difference between top performers and the middle of the pack is
statistically irrelevant. Toyota, which tied Jaguar for sixth with 112
problems per 100 vehicles, beat Chevy by just 17 problems per 100 cars.
He makes a point. Few consumers will notice 17 problems per 100
vehicles. The Power study, he told me, is becoming less and less
relevant because quality is reaching parity.
There's some truth to that. But the argument naively misses a huge
point. While some brands like Mercedes moved way up the charts this
year and others, like Chrysler, tumbled way down, hot names like Honda
and Toyota are in the top 10 every year. Every year!
Consumers love and trust those brands. And those companies have been
dining on Motown’s market share for decades now. Sure, Detroit is
close, by the numbers anyway. But consumers won’t believe that Detroit
is as good as Honda and Toyota until they beat them and beat them
consistently in J.D. Power surveys, Consumer Reports studies, word-of-
mouth recommendations and just general buzz. I’m sorry, why should a
guy who’s on his third Toyota or Honda buy a Chevy? Because the initial
quality is almost as good and the disparity is statistically minuscule?
There’s a great sales pitch...
=========Rising Sun: http://snipr.com/eat_me_jarhead
The fact is most ALL of the vehicle manufacturers fall within the
statistical average of 2%, which is the average number of faults for ALL
manufactured products. Naturally one will be on top and one will be on the
bottom in ANY list but a variation of .05% to 1% is in indeed meaningless.
What the customers should be more concerned about is the total cost to drive
the vehicle home, dealer service, shop rates for that service, insurance,
and parts costs, not whose brand in on the grill.
That is why the best vehicle, a Lincoln, had 37 problems per 100 vehicles.
I guess 98% of the vehicles have no problems, but 2% of the vehicles
have at 17 problems, on average.
> Naturally one will be on top and one will be on the
What's meaningless is your 2% statistic. The average was 125 problem per
100 vehicles. How that works to 2% is beyound me.
Including the cost of taking those cars, with average 1.25 problems per
car, back to the dealer.
Mike, I agree, that's why you should try a cost to own comparison on
edmonds.com. They compare on a 4 year basis, Maintenance, think repairs
before and after 90 days, more like about the time the warranty ends, Resale
Value (you know about that one Mike ), and yes original sale price and
regular maintenance. Try for example comparing Camry, Accord, Malibu, and
any other comparible domestics, and see what you come up with.
Most people don't own their only cars 90 days. I had a 92 Saturn SL2 that
rated high in JD Powers and it was a terrible car. Three brake jobs before
the warranty ran out (obviously my fault per the dealer). Used non-GM brakes
after the warranty and never replaced them again up to 73k miles. Alternator
died at 37k, dealer said can't help, rarely happens, parts guy said they
fail all the time, hmmmm. Rattles, loose trim parts, noisy engine, bad body
panels. Real quality car for the first 90 days, after that, well, downhill
from there. In the end, trade in value was horrible too. The folks at saturn
basically said too bad, so I say too bad when I don't consider them in the
Can't say that for my 3 Toyotas and my wife's 2 Hondas.
What is meaningless is your 2% number. 2% of what? 2% of all
transmissions fail every day? 2% of cars will need a repair if driven
If you keep cars for two years (like you do) and have connections in
the industry and/or enough money that you don't care about resale
value, then it may not matter. For people who want to drive a car for
5 - 10 years and don't want to be making monthly trips to the garage,
it makes a difference.
Economical car ownership is most dependent on avoiding depreciation
costs and finance charges. High-quality, durable and reliable cars
are best for this.
Can't prove it by me. Of all the cars I have owned, only two were
problematic over time, a '51 Chevy and a '97 Lexus. Although I do not keep
my cars ten years most of them have gone to relatives and friends, some of
whom keep then even longer than ten years. If one does the proper
preventive maintenance any brand today will run to 200K or more.
I also own a '41, '64, '71, and a '83 domestics. All but the '41, where
purchased new and currently have from 100K to 300K on the clock and they all
look and run just fine.
Since I was in the fleet service business I have learned to do what
corporate fleet mangers do. I look at the total cost over time to acquire,
insure, maintain, repair and replace my vehicles. That is the reason why I
no longer buy imports
For you so say that, the '97 Lexus must have been a lemon. In my case, it
would take a really good deal to get me back into a Big Three car. My
three Toyotas (and my daughter's Matrix) have made me realize that going to
a repair shop with a problem is not necessarily a two-or-three times a year
thing, it can become an "every two years, whether it needs anything or not"
kind of thing.
Now and then, I read the used car ads for amusement, and continually see 3
or 4 year old Cads which the owner states "85K miles, new transmission" and
such ads for other American iron.
I still like my American car, built in Georgetown, KY with the badge
"Avalon" on it. ...And my Japanese Camry, now pushing 138K miles where only
the starter, the water pump, timing belt and brake pads have been replaced.
And the transmission is still smooth as silk.
I'm really not trying to start a fight here, or even try to be smart.
I've owned 14 GM products over the past 30 years and have been
satisfied with all of them;of course, some more than others. Some
vehicles I have kept for many many years, others, I sold or traded
after a couple of years. One thing has been constant in ALL of the GM
cars I have owned is this: I have NEVER owned a GM car that I have had
to get rid of because it was mechanically unsound or unreliable. And
if I had to replace a starter, water pump,AND timing belt after only
138000 miles, I would probably not continuing to own GM products!
If God have intended for JD Powers or Consumer Reports to think for
you, he wouldn't have given you a brain. All cars built today are
pretty much equal, and have been for a long time. Continue to buy your
Japanese products, I'll buy my American, which for some reason, does
not break down nor get recalled at nearly the rate as these "perfect"
Toyotas do. (BTW, is it my opinion, or does EVERY NEW GENERATION
Camary look more ugly than the one before it?)
On Tue, 12 Jun 2007 00:08:28 -0700, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Neither JD Power not CR constitute thought. They are information,
data if you will. Thought is the brain's process for interpreting
Just as you shouldn't confuse data with thought, you shouldn't confuse
unsupported assertions with data. CR data shows that there are big
differences in reliability among the cars on the market.
Unfortunately, CR changed their reporting a couple years ago and it is
now harder to determine exactly what the failure rates are. One
assumes they are not much different from what they were before the
change. Some domestic and German 5-7 year-old cars have 5 or 6
problem areas where failure rates exceed 10% or even 15% per year, not
to mention less than stellar rates in the other areas. There are some
domestics with reliability records which are not terrible and some are
equal to the second tier Japanese manufacturers. 5-7 year-old Toyotas
and Hondas seldom have any area with worse than 5% failure rate. and
many areas have less than 2% failures. With 14 different systems, and
a few years of ownership, this difference really adds up.
Yeah, I continually buy one every eleven or twelve years.
This is what is known as the straw man argument. No one claims that
Toyotas or Hondas are perfect.
Yes, it is your opinion. A fact would be that every generation sells
better than the one before it.
Hmmm. Recall rate... I have an 06 Si. No recalls yet, and not a single
service visit. I've never had an American car with that kind of
reliabilty. A few oil changes in 20,000 miles, and a tire rotation.
Yep, that damned Japanese reliability just sucks...
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