Every industry analyst is beginning to sing the same tune. Despite things looking good now, the worm is about to turn. Global sales look poised to remain strong this year but the market has peaked and sales should persist on a graph as a flat line. Next year could be a different story, however, and there’s much apprehension surrounding lengthening loan terms and the upsurge of subprime lessees.
Rising incentives are also causing alarm; J.D. Power and Associates expects the average incentive per new unit to top $4,000 in 2017. While that tactic may get people into dealerships now, it might also harm long-term profitability as the automotive industry swings toward leaner times. (Read More…)
If you’ve ever been inside a Mitsubishi Mirage, you know its only slightly preferable to being hogtied and drug behind a much nicer car. Its engine is beyond anemic at highway speeds, there is an uncomfortable level of road noise, and it’s about as luxurious as a shoebox. The Mirage is the rental you receive when the “special value” option seems too good to be true — because it is.
Prepare yourself for a brain aneurysm as you read the following sentence: The Mitsubishi Mirage is, according to the Automotive Science Group, the best performance vehicle money can buy. That, and Mitsubishi is honored as the “Best All-Around Performance Brand.”
How could this possibly happen? (Read More…)
J.D. Power and Associates continued its courtship of Buick and Lexus in its latest scorecard for consumer satisfaction with dealer service departments. While J.D. passes out awards around like a teacher giving PARTICIPANT ribbons at an elementary school science fair, its consumer index is a decent way to track automotive trends. In this instance, that trend is continued improvement of American manufacturers. Well, most of them.
Fiat Chrysler should sincerely consider making a large contribution to J.D. Power so it can get out of last place in literally every single category.
Meanwhile, General Motors is on its best behavior with a score of 807 out of 1,000, an improvement over last year by a full 10 points thanks to Buick taking top honors (860 points) and its other brands scoring substantially above the industry average. Buick was followed by Mini, GMC, Chevrolet and Nissan in the mass-market brand rankings. (Read More…)
Perhaps we’ve finally hit a point where the old ways actually are the best. Gizmo-centric problems seem more important than ever to J.D. Power and Associates in this year’s dependability ranking, which examined problems experienced over the last 12 months on three-year-old vehicles and highlighted electronic accessories as a major issue.
So, a car that has a rock-solid drivetrain still might not make the grade due to a wonky multimedia system. A good example of this was J.D. Power’s chosen pickup, the Ford F-150. While the Ford achieved top marks for the quality of its interior, exterior, and electrics, the Toyota Tundra possessed vastly superior powertrain reliability.
It’s a similar story with the minivan segment. While the Toyota Sienna was given the crown, the Chrysler Town & Country actually had fewer reported problems in every area except the powertrain — and even that was still rated above average. It makes you wonder how much of the long-term quality being tested here is influenced by J.D. Power’s initial quality categories, which it splits into separate mechanical and “design” groups. (Read More…)
Are comfortable seats the secret behind the popularity of the Jeep Compass/Patriot siblings?
Many would argue that rock-bottom pricing and a lack of knowledge of better choices could have something to do with it, but a study by J.D. Power finds that drivers stay loyal if their seats treat them right. (Read More…)
This must be getting boring for the guys and gals in Stuttgart.
For the 12th year in a row, Porsche ranked first in J.D. Power’s new vehicle appeal study, but other automakers are closing in on its crown.
This year’s Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) study found that driver-assist safety features cause drivers to fall in love with their vehicles. They also bore friends and co-workers by talking about it all the time. (Read More…)
J.D. Power and Associates is planning to put more of your possessions under the microscope, now that they’ve taken on new ownership in a deal worth $1.1 billion.
Best known for its vehicle quality ratings, J.D. Power, a unit of McGraw Hill Financial Inc., was snapped up yesterday by London-based XIO Group, according to Reuters (via Automotive News).
The investment firm muscled out a competing private equity firm to land the cash deal, which is expected to close in the third quarter of this year. XIO Group has a strong footprint in China, where it is linked to many high-powered investors. (Read More…)
Late last month, I determined the extent to which Canadians buy the most reliable vehicles according to automaker-supplied sales figures and J.D. Power’s 2016 Vehicle Dependability Study. In large measure, the vehicles that win their respective categories in J.D. Power’s Study are distinctly unpopular vehicles in Canada.
In the United States, the same group of vehicles are notably more common. But does J.D. Power’s VDS, a study which takes into account problems encountered by original owners of MY2013 vehicles over the course of their third year, have a measurable impact on U.S. buying habits? (Read More…)
Lexus won’t be building cars in China anytime soon due the automaker’s concerns regarding production quality, Bloomberg reported Thursday.
“There’s too much quality risk in China to produce there,” said Takashi Yamamoto, executive vice president of Lexus International.
Did you hear that mic drop? Hello? Anyone there?
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…)
Once one of the bests among the rests, Japanese automakers fell below average in the 2015 J.D. Power Initial Quality Study as the Koreans rise in quality.
Millennials giving up on cars? Not according to a recent J.D. Power study.
Quick question: what was the number one factor in your most recent new vehicle purchase? Was it styling? Performance? Features? Financing? Price? Comfort? Practicality? Or that old stalwart, quality? If you answered in the affirmative to that last suggestion, you’re part of a shrinking bloc. There were a lot of winners in the 2014 auto sales race, but quality wasn’t one of them.
Another day, another customer survey. This time, it’s J.D. Power with its annual Sales Satisfaction Index Study, with those surveyed placing Mercedes-Benz at the top of the podium.
Jeep may be the first thing to come to mind when the idea of going off-road comes up in conversation, but when taking a trip from Los Angeles to that secret pool/art installation in the middle of the desert, you might find a Subaru waiting nearby.