Manufacturers want you to believe that their vehicles are durable, but at the same time they want to make money. So, they make continuous improvements and updates in order to keep buyers coming back. Setting a hard limit for how long a vehicle should last would be detrimental to any brand, but soft limits — like the five-digit odometers of the 60s and 70s — made owners aware that they should dump their car before the 100,000 mile mark rolls around.
We’re well into six digit territory now, as the commonly accepted lifetime for vehicles has doubled to 200,000 miles. However, according to its service software BMW thinks its cars shouldn’t be on the road that long. (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…)
If you’re planning to buy a new vehicle this year, J.D. Power wants you to know you’ll probably happier in a Kia than a Porsche.
Well, maybe less annoyed. By the little things. On average. That’s one takeaway from the firm’s annual ranking of automotive brands based on consumer complaints logged during the first 90 days of ownership.
This year’s J.D. Power U.S. Initial Quality Study is good PR for many automakers, considering 21 of the 33 brands moved up in the rankings this year, including those in the Big Three. Domestic brands collectively recorded a lower problem tally than their foreign competition, a feat only accomplished one other time in the study’s three decade history. (Read More…)
When it comes to brands that resonate with buyers, no other automaker tops Toyota, according to a recent study.
In its annual ranking, BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands shows the Japanese automaker rising two spots to place 28th out of all companies in 2015. Second and third-place automakers BMW and Mercedes-Benz both gained ground in the rankings. (Read More…)
The brain trust of yet another artificial intelligence technology startup has been snapped up as automakers prepare for our terrifying, dystopian future.
That, Sergio Marchionne has a sure-fire recipe, jury selection begins in ignition trial, Tesla doesn’t need no stinkin’ successful low-priced car, and GM goes big on commercial sales … after the break!
Forgive me father, for not only have I sinned (at least for right now), but I’m going to make a sordid confession about my daily work life that will tick off 99 percent of the people here.
I find that auto enthusiasts — that’s you — are completely irrational. In fact, sometimes you’re just plain nuts.
It has nothing to do with conspiracy theories, the federal government, or the fact that every manufacturer wants us enthusiasts to become mindless traders and renters instead of long-term keepers. What it really comes down to is that most auto enthusiasts I know simply act like emotional fools.
These photos are of a vehicle that recently visited my driveway for a week. I’m not going to tell you what that vehicle is — yet — but it does raise a very interesting question.
Are bad panel gaps an indicator of a poor quality product? And what “quality” are we talking about anyway?
A quarter of a century can yield an amazing level of improvements to a modern day car — but this isn’t always the case.
Take for example a 1958 Chevrolet Bel Air and compare it with the 1983 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera. Even back in 1983, a 1958 Bel Air could offer the keepers among us the enduring joy of a long-term relationship. That big block Chevy V8, even in the early Reagan era, could give you a fiendish ear-to-ear grin behind the wheel. The Cutlass Ciera on the other hand was a rental car from birth with the vapid empty soul of a parts bin beater. It would take a special masochist of an owner to make that a long-term keeper.
Modern day cars have similar parallels.
Nissan has told its dealers to stop selling specific models of the Maxima due to unspecified quality issue, Automotive News is reporting.
The issue involves Maximas with a specific VIN, not a model type. It’s unclear if those cars have been delivered to dealers or customers. According to Automotive News, Nissan hasn’t identified how many models would be affected by the stop-sale, nor how many of the models may have already been sold.
Nissan hasn’t made available details about the VIN number or how to identify the held cars.
A Denver-area Nissan dealer said he wasn’t aware of the stop-sale at all.
Doug Betts, former senior vice president at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in charge of quality, quietly began work at Apple this month, the Wall Street Journal is reporting.
Betts, who led the effort to turnaround Chrysler’s quality rankings beginning in 2009, left the car company last year one day after Consumer Reports ranked the car company near the bottom of its quality survey.
Betts’ LinkedIn page confirms the appointment at Apple, but the famously secret computer company won’t say whether he’s working on an automotive-related project — or perhaps, janitorial duty.
(photo courtesy: svtrichie @ www.Hyundaiforums.com)
I hope this new year finds you well. Back in 2007 I bought a new Hyundai Santa Fe. Nothing special, no ABS or four wheel drive. But it did have 20”s on it with low profile 12 inch wide tires. Later that year I had the chance to drive it in the snow. First time ever. Was not a good time. (Read More…)
Hans Greimel of the Automotive News is reporting that Takanobu Ito will be replaced in June by Takahiro Hachigo as president and CEO of Honda Motor Company. Ito’s replacement comes after a spate of recalls in its home market of Japan led to a delay in a number of new product launches, followed by the even more image corroding recall of millions of cars worldwide due to Takata supplied airbags that can detonate which have been linked to six deaths.
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.
Dear Mr. Lang,
Your most recent article put the final nail in the C4 coffin for me and for that, I’m everlastingly grateful.
The VW GTI is but a distant infatuation, another foolish pleasure set aside.
Onward to the Infiniti M35.