So all those times Toyota did well in the JD Power Surveys were BS?
From http://www.jdpower.com/faqs/ :
"J.D. Power and Associates surveys consumers and business customers by
mail, telephone, and e-mail. The firm goes to great lengths to make
sure that these respondents are chosen at random and that they
actually have experience with the product or company they are rating.
For example, ratings for the Lexus LS 430 come from people who
actually own one. As a result, J.D. Power and Associates ratings are
based entirely on consumer opinions and perceptions."
Human perceptions are a large part of how happy they are with something.
A person could have a potentially large problem, like the truck leaks
when it rains, and not perceive it as a large problem because he can
have it fixed with the next oil change or have a minor wind noise be a
large problem because the dealership can't fix it.
With this comes things like brand names and dealership experience.
This same sort of thing is true for other things. One might perceive the
time it takes to get up to speed as too long if one has a 2.5 liter V6
engine but as pretty fast if one has a 2.5 liter 4 cyl engine (yeah, I
know, it should take the same time if they have the same power).
Likewise, if one bought a cheap computer, a long boot time when turning
the power on might seem to long, but a long boot time might be
unacceptable for a more expensive computer.
We act on our perceptions, which may or may not jive with reality.
That's why we might think of an American car as a good quality car
compared to an identical Daewoo but a piece of doodoo compared with a
Honda or Toyota. How we perceive the different cars depends on our
experience with them.
So do I. But, in the end, it is the perceptions that matter and are what
we act on, not the fact. If I perceive a Brand Y car is reliable, what I
think about the car's breakdown will be different than if I perceive the
car as unreliable. I remember watching a Nextel Cup race when a driver
(Jack Sprague) ran into another driver causing a crash. He had a
reputation for causing crashes. When there was a crash that he causes,
the announcer said, "What a surprise." But, if it were one the Hendrick
drivers, I think that the announcer would have said something different.
So if the manufacturers and media have convinced the consumers that
domestic is crap and imports are great that's going to be the
"consumer opinions and perceptions" that get reported to JD powers.
IOW, their surveys are little more then eyewash.
Pretty much. What is not published with these reports in the newspaper is
just what the problems are with the cars. The defects per hundred vehicles
does not mean much, really.
Car A is reported to have one defect per hundred vehicles
Car B is reported at two defects per vehicle.
Based on those simple raw numbers, Car A is far superior to Car B.
Scenario No. 1.
Car A has a lot of defective camshafts, about one per hundred vehicles in
the first 500 miles driven. When it goes bad, you have to have the car
towed to the dealer and repairs can take up to 10 days.
Car B has a problems with the dome light burning out and a loose screw on
the door panel.
Is Car A still the superior car?
They also us 90 days as he point of survey. Do you buy a new car every 90
days? You probably keep it for a few years.
Car C sets all records, not one car made the past model year had a defect
in the first 90 days. Great car; let's all run out and buy one. Oh, after
one year, they have a 50% failure rate on transmissions. But it still has
that J D Powers award for the best quality car ever.
Yes, I'm exaggerating, but unless we know the defects, unless we know the
long term reliability, the numbers are just good for advertising hype. The
actual facts may be available, but the general public is not going to dig
very far to find it, we just read the headlines and see where or brand of
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