By on July 15, 2015

Tesla Store

We have opined in these pages before about how for every Tesla sold in America, there are two or three glowing stories written about the electric automaker. There are days when over 50 percent of the pieces on auto industry news feeds are about Tesla, which is not bad for a company capturing 0.1 percent of the U.S. automobile market. Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk is truly a marketing and public relations genius.

Given that, it is fascinating when a negative story surfaces about Tesla’s way of doing business and the slobbering media is strangely silent.  (Read More…)

By on November 18, 2014


Worried that the airbag in your Honda may shred your face instead of saving it? Complain loud enough, and the automaker will replace the unit in question.

(Read More…)

By on November 22, 2013


At what point are you willing to accept a low-ball offer for your old beater?

Is it when the tranny blows out? Or does it eventually come through the scourge of rust, and the constant breaking of electric doo-dads that no longer work all through your doo-dah-day?

Some folks simply get bored of their ride. While others just try to drive their cars until their bodies become the rolling representation of swiss cheese.

Everyone has a reason to curb a car. Thanks to the efforts of Nick Lariviere (<— Click the link!), and the cooperation of an automotive conglomerate with more money than some state governments, I now have 257,020 purely anecdotal examples of this type of personal decision making.

I now need to figure out one simple thing.

What does all this data tell me?

(Read More…)

By on December 17, 2012

Porsche salesfolk in Germany may have to go to school again. On the curriculum: Manners. Getting up while greeting a customer may not be a bad idea. Porsche sales in Germany grew 17 percent from January through October. In November, sales were up only 0.1 percent compared to the prior month. Immediately, alarm bells rang at Porsches new owner Volkswagen, says Der Spiegel. (Read More…)

By on August 13, 2012

Channel stuffing is taking its toll on China. Customers fight back against “increased sales pressure and an insufficient supply of experienced staff, driven by a disconnect between the dealership network expansion and the market slowdown, “ and punish car manufacturers where it hurts second most: On the J.D.Power Sales Satisfaction Survey. The survey, published today, notices “a notable deterioration in overall sales satisfaction among new-vehicle owners in China.” (Read More…)

By on August 28, 2011

When an American wants to attract attention to his car & dealer woes, the tech-savvy slighted customer sets up a [name_of_dealer], and protests from the privacy of his webserver. The traditional types take up position in front of said sales outlet with some placards.

In China, the preferred mode of protest is by farm animal. A Chinese man called bull on his car and dealer. (Read More…)

By on August 15, 2011


According to (some) conventional wisdom, Chinese cars are made from toxic drywall and are covered with lead paint. A more benign characterization of a Chinese car is “POS” – which is not meant as “point of sale.”

J.D. Power, the global go-to for all matters of customer satisfaction, begs to differ. Chinese have never been happier with their new car, says J.D. Power in a press release titled “New-Vehicle Sales Satisfaction in China Reaches an Historic High in 2011.”

Who are the cars that make Chinese so giddy? If you like American brands, don’t hit the jump. Wait – we found another study that has some red, white and blue. Jump with confidence …

(Read More…)

By on July 12, 2011

Can one dramatically increase customer satisfaction ion the course of three weeks? Yes, you can! How? Simple: Just get a different survey.

Three weeks ago, acid reflux, shouting matches and massive finger pointing were rampant at car companies like Volkswagen and Ford. On J.D.Power’s Initial Quality Study (IQS), Ford had landed (with a thud) on rank 23, and Volkswagen crashed to #29, outdone in measured mediocrity only by Mitsubishi, Suzuki, and Dodge.

Now, all is fine again. (Read More…)

By on November 9, 2010

Dealerships are a pain in the neck. The salesman tries to convince you that they’re your friend (when you know damn well they want as much money as they can squeeze out of you), getting warranty work out of them is sometimes a nightmare and, if you’re buying used, you don’t know what the car has been through. You can write a letter of complaint, but will that really help*? You may get a discounted service as compensation, but will anything REALLY change? Well, BMW wants to shake the dealership experience up a bit. In the customers’ favor. (Read More…)

By on April 19, 2010

No, the boys of the blue oval didn’t win any new J.D. Power kudos (yet.)

But the relatively obscure RDA Group of Bloomfield Hills, Mich. says Ford has the highest customer satisfaction among all major automakers. This according to Ford’s latest press release. Eighty-four percent of customers who purchased a 2010 model-year Ford, Lincoln and Mercury cars and trucks are satisfied with the quality of their vehicle, says the study. (Read More…)

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  • Contributing Writers

  • Jack Baruth, United States
  • Bark M., United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Doug DeMuro, United States
  • Steven Lang, United States
  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Vojta Dobes, Czech Republic
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, United States
  • Cameron Aubernon, United States