By on August 12, 2010

Collectively, the the Detroit Three have enjoyed precisely one market share turnaround in the last several years: Ford in 2009. This year, Detroit’s market share looks downright stagnant. Chrysler’s got a tiny bump going on, but Ford’s lost its fizz and GM is skidding bottom… at best. On the other hand, if this graph is just too gloomy for you, hit the jump for one of the first glimmers of (market share) hope for Detroit in years.

Pullback! Or at least some slowing in the rate at which import brands were taking over the American market. But hey, $80b or so in taxpayer assistance will do that. In any case, it’s way too early to say that Detroit has conclusively halted decades-long market share slide.

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75 Comments on “What’s Wrong With This Picture: Spot The Turnaround Edition...”


  • avatar
    segfault

    Ford is improving. GM and Chrysler are still circling the toilet.

  • avatar
    jj99

    Detroit could turn this around. How? They need to cut the prices. Detroit cars are not as good as Toyota and Honda, but they are priced as if they are as good or better. That is why people do not want them.

    Either Detroit needs to fix their cars, or they need to cut the prices. Lower prices would fix the problem.

    I bet someone from Detroit will start posting that Detroit has caught up. This is only true when reliability is measured at 3 years or less. After that, Toyota and Honda rule the rankings. Check consumer reports. Because of this 5 to 10 year long term quality problem in Detroit vehicles, people expect them to be much cheaper than Toyota and Honda, but they are priced the same or higher.

    Case closed.

    • 0 avatar
      ott

      Every manufacturer makes good cars, and every manufacturer makes duds. But it’s certainly easy to see which side of the fence you’re on.

    • 0 avatar
      jj99

      ott, I would buy a Detroit product if it is much cheaper than Toyota or Honda because of the quality difference. At the correct price, I would purchase a Detroit vehicle.

      However, several months ago, Detroit looked terrible. If this actually turns around, and Detroit has the same reilability between 5 and 10 years as Toyota and Honda, I would pay the same price.

      I know the media has been running a nonstop Buy Ford campaign, but Consumer Reports is the place to go.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      Ford’s quality and reliability renaissance began with the ’06 Fusion. Since then new models like the Edge, ’09 revised Escape, new Taurus, Fiesta, etc have all helped considerably, but they just haven’t been out long enough for that long term data to exist. Ford vehicles are just as reliable and well built as anything out of Toyota or Honda, and more and more people are starting to realize that.

      Granted, it will take some more time for others to come around, including those poor deluded souls who think CR is worth a darn when it comes to cars. This is why Ford’s upswing has just begun, those who can see and appreciate quality are buying now, those that have to be told what car they like from a magazine that does its best work reviewing vacuum cleaners will buy in another few years when the data is there to support it.

    • 0 avatar
      jj99

      NM, when I was in college in the mid to late 1980s, I remember all the Ford commercials stating “Quality is Job #1″. Ford indicated their products were top quality. We are still waiting for the data to prove this 20 years later.

      As far as the Edge, I recently saw that Consumer Reports did not recommend some of them them as a used vehicle. While my memory is a little vague, I think they said the 07 and 08 models have issues. I suppose the data on the 09 and 10 Edge vehicles is not available yet. I am not holding my breath.

    • 0 avatar
      MikeAR

      Jj, you are right about pricing, I don’t think you are right about quality though. We will see in 2-3 years when current models have some miles and age on them.

      That’s not important anyway, the problem for Detroit is perceived value. They are too expensive for buyers as they are currently priced. Incentives don’t matter, the sticker price is too high for the value. Drop stickers by some percentage and watch sales take off.

    • 0 avatar
      HoldenSSVSE

      Yes that 2010 Toyota Corolla S is one well built, well engineered, car. Why that Scion iQ sure is going to kill the new Ford Fiesta.

      Pffffffftttt

      Even TTAC said that the Corolla isn’t even worthy to be in the tailpipe fumes of the new Chevrolet Cruze.

    • 0 avatar
      jj99

      MikeAR, you are right on. If the Detroit vehicles undercut Toyota and Honda on pricing, people would decide Detroit vehicles are fairly priced, and sales would take off. People are willing to purchase a vehicle that has lower quality and lower resale if the price reflects it.

      Hyundai is already doing this. Buyers do not expect Hyundai and Kia to exhibit the same reliabilty as Toyota and Honda. However, they are buying them like mad because they are much cheaper than Toyota and Honda.

      Detroit, are you listening? Stop pretending your vehicles are on par with Toyota and Honda. However, your vehicles are on par with Hyundai and Kia. Price your cars on that level, and you are in business. I will be first in line.

    • 0 avatar
      carlisimo

      I have the opposite opinion – I think the domestic brands need to come out with cars that are MORE expensive than everyone else’s. American cars have become the budget option, the cars you get when you can’t afford a good one. In the long term, that perception is very damaging.

      The generation that made the Camry famous was (imo) the early ‘90s one, that cost a lot more than its competition but was built like a tank (a comfortable tank). I don’t know if it made Toyota lot of money, but it made them a lot of fans. And look at the Germans… they don’t even need to be reliable, because they’re cool enough to sell on emotion rather than practicality.

    • 0 avatar
      davey49

      It’s only Toyota and Honda that deserve the kudos for having excellent reliability. The other Japanese brands have survey results just as bad as any car from the D3
      If the domestics lower their prices to much below Toyota/Honda levels than sales will drop because customers consider a significant drop in prices as equal to a significant drop in quality.
      As far as you seeing the “Quality is Job 1″ ads back in the 1980s. Would you believe that it likely took those 20 something years to achieve the results that Ford has now? Improving quality in manufacturing can take decades, requiring massive changes in personnel attitudes along with rebuilding the way processes are handled.
      And remember, with cars it’s amazing that they work at all

    • 0 avatar
      SV

      Big 3 cars of 5+ years ago were still behind the Japanese, on average, in terms of reliability. But that’s changed; the current crop of American cars, Fords especially, are increasingly reliable. The Fusion’s outranked both the Accord and Camry by a pretty decent margin in reliability since its introduction, and its used car ranking by CR is nearly flawless as well (excluding the AWD model).

      Wait until ’05 and newer American cars start hitting the 5-year mark and you’ll start to see a marked improvement.

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      If I wanted a report on a toaster, I might take a peek at CR. I would never buy a copy,unless I was looking for something to line my garbage pail.

    • 0 avatar
      ghentForever

      I know u r Asian, jj99

    • 0 avatar
      Kevin Kluttz

      Actually, this ‘deluded soul’ is old enough to have experienced the “quality” of Detroit vs. the QUALITY of Honda, Nissan, and Toyota. There is no contest. And Consumer Reports boldly corroborates my experiences. JUST ASK SUZUKI.

    • 0 avatar
      jj99

      Kevin, you are correct. I have had, and still have Detroit cars. And, most of them had large repairs needed while my Toyota and Hondas only needed brakes, tires, and batteries. But, I was satisfied with my Detroit cars because historically they were much cheaper than the Toyota and Honda cars.

      Recently, the prices on Detroit cars have approached and even surpassed Toyota and Honda cars. A Ford salesman was trying to sell me on the high quality with a short term J D Powers report. I told him I have owned a number of Fords, and I have one now that has issues, then I ran for the exit, then drove straight over to Toyota.

    • 0 avatar
      jj99

      windswords. The statistical bias argument is phoney. Undergrad college statistics classes common in a science, engineering, or math program show the statistical technique used to correct for a bias. I would expect Consumer Reports did just that. It is stats 101.

  • avatar
    jaje

    To really note how well they are doing (high profit sales)…give us the retail marketshare #s of import / domestic sales. That will give you a very telling and damning view.

  • avatar
    findude

    How about a chart showing quality (3 years, 5 years, whatever) by individual plant? Or maybe country of final assembly? Surely the detailed surveys (which include the VIN) could be correlated with lots of interesting data and sent out beyond the spreadsheet folks at the manufacturers’ headquarters.

  • avatar
    dkulmacz

    Who graphs your data? Fire them.

    At least they’re small pics . . .

    • 0 avatar
      Darth Lefty

      They would look fine I’m sure if the blog software wasn’t shrinking them to fit the column. They would look better if they were done from the start in the required resolution. Pretty common here on TTAC, the photos don’t always look the best either.

      Also it’d be nice if you would make the scales large enough to read!

    • 0 avatar

      We’re just looking at long-term trends here, not exact numbers… I think the graph shows the trends adequately.
      On the other hand, I realize the pop-up also isn’t working… let me see if I can get that working. UPDATE: Clickable gallery added.

    • 0 avatar
      Telegraph Road

      These graphs would definitely benefit from a careful reading of Edward Tufte’s classic “The Visual Display of Quantitative Information”. But any charts and graphs are better than RF’s eloquent diatribes. Keep up the good work. TTAC.

  • avatar
    Lokki

    From CU, regarding Ford:

    Ford consolidated its position as the only Detroit automaker with world-class reliability. The Fusion and Milan led the charge; four-cylinder, front-wheel-drive V6, and hybrid versions got top marks.

    Of the 51 Ford, Mercury, and Lincoln products that we surveyed, 46, or about 90 percent, were average or better, including the new Ford Flex SUV. But the Lincoln division had mixed results; some models scored below their Ford equivalents. All-wheel-drive versions of the Lincoln MKS, MKX, and MKZ, essentially high-end versions of the Ford Taurus, Edge, and Fusion, were all below average.

    From CU regarding GM:

    Following its bankruptcy filing and shedding the Hummer, Pontiac, and Saturn brands, GM now consists of Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, and GMC. Of the 48 models we surveyed from those brands, 20 had average scores, and only one, the Malibu V6 sedan, was better than average.

    Some newer GM products were bright spots. Besides the Malibu, the Buick Lucerne also did well in our road tests, and it scored average in reliability. The Chevrolet Traverse SUV also made the cut, as did its cousin, the Buick Enclave, but only in the all-wheel-drive version. The Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500 pickups, two good performers, earned our recommendation as well. GM has a number of strong contenders either just released or in the pipeline, but we won’t have reliability data on them for a while.

    Them durn furiners:

    The major Japanese brands and South Korea’s Hyundai and Kia make plenty of reliable vehicles. Of the 48 models with top reliability scores, 36 were Asian. Toyota accounted for 18; Honda, eight; Nissan, four; and Hyundai/Kia and Subaru, three each.

    On the whole, Japanese vehicles are consistently good. All Hondas and Acuras were average or above. Toyota, with its Lexus and Scion brands providing a broader product range, had just one vehicle that was below average in reliability, the Lexus GS AWD.

    I won’t bother with European cars. -they’re both what you’d expect. Uhm, nobody buys a European car for reliability, I guess.

    • 0 avatar
      jj99

      Interesting … of the 48 vehicles with TOP reliability, 36 were asian, and 18 were Toyota. This leaves 12 TOP reliability spots left. The question: How many of these 12 TOP reliability spots went to Detroit vehicles? I don’t know the answer. However, since 12 spots are left for all car companies, there is no way any Detroit manufacturer can top Toyota’s 18, and I doubt any Detroit manufacturer can top Honda’s 8.

      While Ford is patting itself on the back because 90% of it’s vehicles is average or above, that is not good enough. What counts is how many vehicles are in TOP reliability spots.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      That quote shows the problem with CR. The Edge and the MKX share the same exact powertrain, every single component, and come off of the same assembly line (well, true for 2010 and earlier models). Their reliability should be identical, yet somehow CR found the MKX less reliable than the Edge – this points to a flaw in their testing methodology.

      Similarly, an AWD variant of a vehicle should be more prone to issues than the 2wd version. How is it that CR found the reverse in ther Traverse review? Also, what criteria exactly fall under their reliability tests, and how are they tested? CR never gives us the raw data dumps, and have even been sued (and settled out of court to keep it quiet) for slander regarding Suzuki.

      This is also the magazine that recommends a Honda Ridgeline over a F250 as a truck, citing reliability, despite the fact that if you actually tried to use the Ridgeline at a quarter of the capability of the F250 it would break in half.

      CR is worthless for car reviews, it’s a tool for small minded sheeple and high strung housewives who can’t be bothered to do a little digging and thinking themselves to choose the best car for them.

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      NulloModo

      +1
      As soon a someone starts quoting CR, I put them in that catagory of people that havn’t got a clue what thier talking about.

    • 0 avatar
      RogerB34

      NMollo:
      CR tests and rates vehicles.
      Reliability is from owner participation in surveys.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      Roger –

      That system has plenty of faults. Here is a great article which brings up some of them, and here and here are some more issues from TTAC’s own MKaresh. I see the biggest problem is that the largest group of responders to CR’s survey are CR subscribers, who are not a representative cross section of the American public.

      Taking into account that kind of issues occur is also of huge importance. Early Flex and MKS models had some issues with the adhesive that held the headliner to the ceiling of the car (Flex) and the adhesive strips that held the upper exterior door trim pieces to the inner frame (MKS). These were purely cosmetic issues, which could be fixed 100% in under ten minutes free of charge at any FoMoCo dealer, and which were fixed quickly at the factory as soon as they figured out what the problem was. The 2007 Tundra had an issue where the driveshaft could separate in the middle with the loose end dropping down to the road while the vehicle was in motion. Even if there were more Flexes that had the potential for a drooping headliner assembly, the Tundra issue is obviously much more major and should be considered a bigger reliability problem, yet the CR survey wouldn’t necessarily identify it as such.

    • 0 avatar
      Wheeljack

      Nullo,

      I can sort of see the potential validity of the MKX scoring slightly worse due to all gizmos on it as compared with the more proletarian Ford – they are bound to have a glitch or two that might be reported by their owners.

      Having said that, when I was a field rep for Ford many moons ago, the Grand Marquis consistently scored better in CR surveys than the identical Crown Vic – Unlike the Town Car, the Mercury offered no additional features that were not available on a Ford save for some slightly nicer looking interior trim.

      How to explain this difference you ask? I say the difference is the customers – the Mercury buyers generally had higher average incomes than their Ford buying counterparts, and I’m conviced after meeting with countless Ford, Lincoln and Mercury customers that someone who has more of their income tied up in a car tends to nit-pick it a lot more.

      My worst offenders were Escort owners who nitpicked everything from minor panel gap issues to negligible paint issues in spite of the Escort being a fairly solid, reliable car by that time. Conversely, I rarely ever had to meet with or talk to a Lincoln customer unless they were a program buyer (read: couldn’t afford the car new, so they bought an off-lease Lincoln for the price of a new Ford or Mercury). The only other Lincoln customers I ever spoke to were the ones who just wanted to air their greivances about features that were deleted or updated in a way they didn’t like. Once I heard them out, they thanked me for my time and went on with their lives.

      I had access to CR and JD Power data at that time and the same affect played out for Chrysler and their LH sedans – The Concorde was consistently rated higher than the mechanically identical Intrepid.

    • 0 avatar
      Telegraph Road

      @NM: “I see the biggest problem is that the largest group of responders to CR’s survey are CR subscribers, who are not a representative cross section of the American public.”

      Statisticians refer to this as selection bias, an inherent problem in retrospective surveys. Michael Karesh–please weigh in with your views unless you take CR as gospel.

    • 0 avatar
      Kevin Kluttz

      @nm: I don’t see how anyone can argue with the truth. (That darned “experience” word rears its ugly head again…)

    • 0 avatar
      Kevin Kluttz

      I think Mr. Karesh simply tells the truth, too. Gets his reliability information from owners, JUST LIKE CR.

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      NOT just like CR. I get a monthly email from Mr. Karesh. Any issues I may have had are fresh in my mind. CR goes for the 1 year mind-data dump. How many people remember exactly their car issues? Maybe the typical CR person who pours over the red dots to see if Energizer batteries last longer than Duracell might, but your average person doesn’t. Consumers’ relative scale of measurement is flawed. Consider if there was just two car makers, Toyota and Ford. And that the Toyota X was rated overall much better than average while the Ford Y much worse. Then say over one model year, the Ford Y improved its reliability to match the exact reliability of the Toyota X. What would the result be in Consumers? For all of Ford’s work in improving to Toyota’s reliability, they would get an average rating. Toyota’s x, though unchanged in reliability, would see its score slide to average as well. Of course, with many makes and models you dilute this effect, but it still points out that to take CR as gospel is foolish. And my primary car is a Japanese make, so I am not beating the American drum.

      Face it folks, a camera buff doesn’t go to CR for a camera. A professional contractor doesn’t look to CR for tools that they use to make their living. Why would anybody who is knowledgeable about motor vehicles got to CR? I must agree fully with mikey in this case. Anytime someone quotes CR in a car discussion, I know automatically that they really haven’t much to add to the conversation. They get all defensive, too.

    • 0 avatar
      jj99

      I have a problem with so many dissing Consumer Reports. Consumer Reports is the only data available to the consumer showing long term reliability in the 5 to 10 year range. J D Powers always stops at 3 years. The Detroit cheerleading squad always sticks the short term J D Powers data in your face, then discredits the Consumer Report long term data with complaints about the statistics.

      I don’t buy it. If Detroit actually did well compared to Toyota and Honda in the 5 to 10 year range, Detroit would get out their checkbooks and purchase this study from J D Powers so they could refute Consumer Reports. This would be key information into changing everyones perspective. But, this never happens.

      I find this troubling. Detroit would run and pay for a J D Powers 5 to 10 year study if the results would help it prove its case. Detroit would not pay for this study if the results validate Consumer Reports 5 to 10 year results. Detroit is not producing this study. Read between the lines.

    • 0 avatar
      windswords

      Well let’s see. CR for years says that Japanese cars (and more recently Korean cars) are good and domestics are bad. They then take a survey of their readers about problems they have with their cars and lo and behold their readers on the whole say that their Japanese cars are good but their domestics (of which they own very few) are bad. Who’d thunk it? To think they would report anything contrary is like going to the NAACP and asking them to say something good about Palin and something bad about Obama. What do you expect?

      If CR hired a pro polling outfit and called up the same number of random drivers of each model they rate (say 100 Camry owners, 100 Fusion owners, 100 Sonata owners, 100 Passat owners, etc.), then they might have something relevant to report. Otherwise they are reporting a self-fulfilling result.

  • avatar
    mythicalprogrammer

    I’m sorry, I don’t understand what the percentage on the Y-axis means?

    I sorta gave up and laugh at the 2nd graph, “hehe, the green and blue lines are having sex at the intersection.”

  • avatar
    Engineer

    Please Ed,
    Those numbers are mighty small…

  • avatar
    davey49

    Lucky for GM, their big sales are in profitable vehicles, trucks and big CUVs

  • avatar
    daga

    I see two actually. Chrysler’s 95 looks quite a bit like Fords 2009.

    • 0 avatar
      Kevin Kluttz

      The new Intrepid and the new Jeeps…The “silence of the lambs” fell for them. And then reality set in and the downward spiral continued.

    • 0 avatar
      iNeon

      Nein. Chrysler’s slip directly coincides with the merge of Daimler-Benz and Chrysler Corporation. Might have something to do with Chrysler paying for Benz’ product-renaissance.

    • 0 avatar
      windswords

      +1 iNeon.

      “The new Intrepid and the new Jeeps…” and the new Dakota, new Durango, new minivan (C&D’s “Car of the Year”), new compact (Cirrus/Stratus or JA cars).

  • avatar
    BDB

    JJ99:domestics::Silvy:Ford.

  • avatar
    jimmyy

    Welcome to the new world. One where Ford operatives from Dearborn paint every message board with misinformation. Ford is no Toyota or Honda. Better hope you can keep selling nearly half of your vehicles to fleet buyers. Because there is no way people in the northeast will buy that overpriced junk.

    • 0 avatar
      BDB

      Ford is no Toyota or Honda.

      Given Toyota’s blandness and lack of anything resembling a sport/performance car, and the butt-ugliness of the new Honda design “language”, thank Christ for that!

      I’m posting from Virginia, and any admin is free to check it. I’ve never been to Dearborn in my entire life.

    • 0 avatar

      Interesting to note that I noticed a crap-load of Toyota trucks on the road in New England… that and Volvos and Subarus too!

    • 0 avatar
      Roundel

      That is true, Ford would have to lower their standards for interiors to match Toyota. One could say the Kozy Koupe was the inspiration for the new Scion TC interior.
      Honda has been floundering for years,and only blind fanboys could admit to liking anything coming out recently from them.
      It seems you and JJ are the same skizophrenic poster with a slight case of fanboyitis.
      Do the internet a favor and push the power button. And your tinfoil hat is showing if you think we are all corporate spys… How absurd…
      CR as gospel… what kind of car enthusiast are you?!?

  • avatar
    joe_thousandaire

    Its not all about market share; its about making quality products. GM had to learn that the hard way (still is actually) and now Toyota is doing the same.

    • 0 avatar
      jimmyy

      Toyota made a big mistake. It did not donate hundreds of millions of dollars to Democratic campaigns, while the UAW did just that. So, Toyota paid the price because the Democrats launched a Toyota smear campaign to help the UAW workers. You are right. Toyota learned the hard way. Going forward, I bet Toyota donates lots of cash to get even with the Democrats.

    • 0 avatar
      joe_thousandaire

      Quit flaming jimmyy. I wasn’t even referring to the unintended acceleration saga. I was talking about the gradual decline in Toyota’s quality of product over the past few years. This has been documented on this site and every other, as well as by anyone who has sat in a Toyota recently. Toyota has let slide some of their famous attention to detail in the name of higher volume – plain and simple.

    • 0 avatar
      Telegraph Road

      @jimmyy– Huh? The UAW donated “hundreds of millions of dollars to Democratic campaigns.”??? Link please.

  • avatar
    Telegraph Road

    TTAC: please remember that “Detroit” comprises 3 separate companies. Each has its own management and historical performance. The oversimplification of “Detroit” vs “Imports” may work for USA Today, but the B&B know better.

    When I joined my Dearborn employer in the early 80′s before the SUV and minivan bubbles, its U.S. market share stood at 17%–not much different than today. And Chrysler’s share was similar to its share today. Those other guys in the RenCen dropped the flag. [Are you listening Silvy?]

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      Telegraph,

      You’re right… it’s only been roughly $26 million to the Democrats, not hundreds of millions. Although compared to the comparatively paltry 180k they’ve donated to the Republicans, it’s understandable where the exaggeration came from.

      The UAW has nearly exclusively supported Democratic candidates for over 20 yrs. Here’s a well recognized, non-partisan site, opensecrets.org as a proof source.

      http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/summary.php?cycle=A&type=P&id=D000000070

      Dismissing the cozy relationship between the UAW and the Democratic party only weakens your argument.

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      No surprise here. If I was controlling an organization, those that helped my cause would get my financial support. I would be far more concerned that with the Supreme Court’s recent decision overriding 100 years of precedent, that anybody can spend unlimited sums of money to silence those that oppose their views. And while that does open the doors for organizations like the UAW, unions don’t have a chance to compete in the big money arena like a big corporation or a well financed lobby group like the NRA. Which simply means that those with the bucks will buy the votes and silence those who don’t. Another positive litmus test of America’s decline. The middle class is being squeezed into irrelevance. I would hate to be 10 years old today.

    • 0 avatar

      Corporations don’t have unlimited funds to give to political candidates. They have their lobbyists to pay for too!

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    If I wanted a report on a toaster, I might take a peek at CR. I would never buy a copy,unless I was looking for something to line my garbage pail.

    I’m a huge CR fanboy. They present empirical evidence, which is important to me. I work too hard for my money to spend it on shit.

    As soon a someone starts quoting CR, I put them in that catagory of people that havn’t got a clue what thier talking about.

    Perhaps. But I weigh it out with what Michael Karesh says as well. Bottom line, I want something completely reliable, then I’ll go with style and creature comforts.

    And it’s they’re, not thier.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    I am in agreement with NM on Consumer Reports magazine. What exactly does CR mean by “reliability”? They give you no info at all. If a car starts everyday and gets you where you want to go, it’s reliable. Panel gaps? get over it. Loose trim and other cosmetic issues? the dealer can and will set all those matters straight. An automobile is a ridiculously complicated piece of machinery that’s amazing it works as well as it does.

    All opinions/reviews on things are highly subjective as everyone is different. Me? I want an American car that doesn’t look like a doorstop, that has bright (chrome?) trim, and is a pillarless hardtop. But that’s just me.

  • avatar
    jpcavanaugh

    Interesting that the trajectory for GM and Chrysler are virtually the same in the last 3 years. The difference is that one of these companies has had a lot of fresh “world class” product hit the showrooms and one has been saddled with a lot of stale product of only moderate appeal.
    When Chrysler gets some fresh product onto the street, there is some major upside possible, which is not the case at GM. The early results of the new Grand Cherokee are encouraging for Chrysler.

  • avatar
    Lokki

    Once again, as with CR, I only post the information without comment.

    http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/summary.php?id=D000000070

    The UAW has only contributed $26M to political parties over 10 years. However 99% has been to Democrats.
    FWIW

  • avatar
    segfault

    Is everyone who is trashing CR saying that they were wrong when Land Rover and Jaguar and the Korean manufacturers (during the bad old days) had all of those black dots for all of those years? With or without CR, it was widely known that those brands were unreliable.

    Yes, CR’s methodology leaves something to be desired, and not just with their vehicle ratings. If you look at their television reliability ratings, there is a caution that their reliability numbers for DLP televisions and LCD/plasma televisions can’t be directly compared. WTF?

    I’m not sure this reliability discussion is completely germane to market share anyway. VW sold a ton of vehicles here with bad coil packs, sludging engines, bad window regulators, and myriad electrical problems.

  • avatar
    Morea

    Recipe for a Do-It-Yourself Consumer Reports auto quality survey:

    Go to three independent mechanics. Ask them one question: What does your wife (or significant other, or mother, or daughter) drive?

    My observation has been that Toyota and Honda will come up more often than Ford or GM.

  • avatar
    jbcrzn

    There was an issue of Car and Driver in which they praised Porsche for not changing the looks of the 928 for nearly twenty years and they highlighted the mechanical and panel interchangeability from the current model to one of the early iterations. In the same issue, they condemned Chrysler for not significantly revising the Lebaron for five years. Maybe in their minds, the Lebaron needed a refresh though the Porsche did not, but it appeared as though anything from Detroit needed help and anything from the Black Forest was gold. I do read Consumer Reports and use the publication as a guide line, however, they appear to me to be biased towards Toyota. Materials they have claimed to be class leading are materials for which I do not care and believe them to be no better than Ford, GM, Chrysler, Nissan, etc.

    We are all affected by our experiences and preferences. My preferences are toward American nameplates (not because they are associated with “built in America”), rather I generally prefer their handling, overall feel and looks of their products to the competition. I have had a Nissan Xterra and a Jeep Wrangler, and while the Wrangler handled better to me (very subjective), I would say the Xterra feels slightly more mechanically solid. The trade off is that the Xterra is more expensive to maintain and repairs are much more expensive, so at the end of the day, one is not better to me than the other. I would select between those two based on purpose, not CR recommending the Xterra and not the Wrangler. I have driven and ridden in many Toyotas, Nissans, Hondas, Chevrolets, Fords, Chryslers, and KIAs and each brand has had vehicles with which I can easily find fault and they have also had ones that are magnificent vehicles. I have talked to mechanics that favor different nameplates for different reasons and the majority of them have admitted to me that Toyota, Nissan, and Honda are not as likely to have a mechanical failure as the Detroit three are, however, when they do require repairs, they are much more difficult to work on than the domestic nameplates and have increased cost for the same repairs.

    • 0 avatar
      JeremyR

      Perhaps it was the Porsche 911 you meant to refer to, as the 928 didn’t see production for anywhere near 20 years.

      And while the styling of the 911 perhaps hadn’t changed much in the first 20 years since its inception, the car certainly evolved over that period of time.

    • 0 avatar
      Morea

      The first sentence from the Porsche 928 article in Wikipedia:

      The Porsche 928 was a sports-GT car sold by Porsche AG of Germany from 1978 to 1995.

      That’s 18 model years covering all 928 variants.

      Very close to 20 years I’d say.

    • 0 avatar
      JeremyR

      Yeah, how about that. For some reason I believed that the 928 was solely a product of the 80′s. My bad!


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