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.
Otherwise known as the Mitsubishi Eclipse.
No car has better embodied the sad decline of a once competitive automaker.
Awkward styling. Poor interior space and wonky ergonomics. Plus, you got a double whammy if you decided to keep them in the arid parts of the country.
Thin flaky paint… and a weird flaw with the glues and vinyls used on the dashboard. The net effect of which is…
It would take an immense amount of effort to prove that VW was not telling the truth in their latest Super Bowl commercial.
First you would have to pool registration data from dozens of different countries within the US, EU, Japan, China, Southeast Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.
That’s one tall order. To even make that remotely possible, you would have to get the data from the various states within those countries. Quite a few of them would likely have a hard time even coming up with data that is easily downloadable.
As for verification of mileage? Good luck with that! Even in the U.S. of A., not all states require emission and registration checks that verify the mileage.
So let’s remove probability altogether from VW’s Superbowl proclamation, and deal with the cold hard facts related to the wholesale side of this business.
There are some things that I am too damn old and open-minded to understand.
Like hating a car brand. Especially in those common cases where folks haven’t been exposed to any level of vehicle derived hardships.
Toyotas are boring. BMW’s are Yuppie-mobiles. Mercedes-Benzes are for snobs. On an on, through the lexicon of cliche and generalizations comes the silliest of stereotypes. As much as I hate to see it, hear it, and read it, I’m resigned to the fact that there is always going to be some version of this nuttiness in our world.
But what if there was an easier means to defeat it? In fact, as many of you know, there already is. A force of human good that can outdo any scam artist or snake oil salesman.
The enthusiast forum.
In an effort to sell their wares to Western markets, Geely and their subsidiary Volvo have teamed up to build a subcompact global car aimed at offerings from Ford, Honda et al.
If there ever was a combination of good and bad offers for the DIY auto enthusiast, it’s the so-called Black Friday deals.
Impact wrenches that are made of low quality materials and old-school heavy batteries, utter garbage. Some of the manufacturers of these models should be shot on principle alone.
You can also throw in cheap wrench sets into the mix. I know they work in a pinch. But I just hate em’. Too many bad memories.
So what’s worth buying?
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?
After consumer complaints over quality issues in its home market of Korea and a string of recalls there, in the U.S. and other countries. Hyundai Motor Group’s president for research and development, Kwon Moon-sik and two other executives in charge of engineering and electronics have resigned. The shakeup comes as the automaker prepares some important new vehicle launches.
We live in an era of instant gratification. We want everything, right now, done perfectly, right away. A consequences of that is that delays, even when legitimate, are seen as a sign of incompetence, slow movement and an inability to get things done. In many cases, it’s true. But that doesn’t mean we should pillory Chrysler for delaying production of the Cherokee again.
J.D. Power published its 2013 Initial Quality Study IQS, and a miracle happened: Chevrolet jumped 10 spots to number 5. The GMC brand even sits in #2. In the real world, that puts GMC and Chevrolet in Place 2, along with Lexus and Infiniti.
A Reuters article on Hyundai’s recent quality problems raises an interesting question. Has the company grown too fast following an unprecedented image makeover?
This week has been nothing less than the usual.
The top 5 vehicles were either Toyotas or Ford trucks, with a 2005 Toyota RAV4 that had galloped 425,904 miles skating right past a 2003 Ford E250 with 413,579. Eight of the top ten were either the usual Ford/Chevy/Toyota truck, or a Honda/Toyota car. Only a solitary Vulcan V6 Ford car and a Nissan Maxima interrupted the usual domination. Both of those models I’m thinking about adding to the list just because they are frequent enough to merit that distinction along with Sajeev’s beloved Panthers.
But then again, I did have one big surprise. Anyone remember the Mercury Capri?
The late Gore Vidal was fond of saying, “Gratitude can be a complicated thing.”
He was right. Whether you are a hater, or simply a chronic critic, the act of complimenting those who follow the beat of a different drummer is usually not within the tip of the human tongue.
We want things our way… and sometimes we’re just plain wrong.