TrueDelta: GM Still Beta Testing With Early Adopters

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams
truedelta gm still beta testing with early adopters

Conventional wisdom says never buy a car the first year it's on the market, whether it's a brand new model or a redesign of an existing one. TrueDelta's latest quarterly results say… it depends from whence cometh the car. The 2008 Honda Accord, Nissan Rogue and Mercedes C-Class, for example, all boast a better than average repair rate. On the other hand, GM. Last year, the GMC Acadia and Saturn's Aura and Outlook showed higher than normal repair rates. So far this model year, they're lower than average rates. The cycle is repeating for the 2008 Cadillac CTS (2.5 times the average repair rate) and Saturn Vue (1.5 times the average). TrueDelta developer Michael Karesh sums it up thus: "For GM, rough launches appear to be the rule rather than the exception." So the next time GM CEO Rick Wagoner and Co. feel like mouthing-off about the "perception gap" supposed afflicting their narrow-minded non-customers, they should visit TrueDelta (and/or TTAC) for some cold, hard truth. if we don't say so ourself. Which we do.

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4 of 16 comments
  • Ricky Spanish Ricky Spanish on May 14, 2008

    They build a garbage car and are surprised nobody wants to buy it. They can run all the propaganda they want, but the fact of the matter is that car buyers talk to other people who buy cars and get their experiences. While not all consumers are smart, most people aren't stupid either.

  • on May 14, 2008
    Steve_K : May 14th, 2008 at 8:16 am VUE, indeed. Our 2008 VUE is our first new car ever (and probably the last), which we acquired last October. I let is slide b/c the drivetrain has been around already. The New Model Issues include exterior plastic-chrome which lasted about 3 winter months. Also the radio was replaced due to a CD player issue; puzzling since this radio is not unique, it’s the current corporate unit. Unsurprisingly a trim piece was broken during the replacement of said radio. The Saturn dealer quickly and courteously remedied every issue. Otherwise the VUE is brilliant. I bought a VUE the first year they came out. Many small problems initially, culminating in a clutch master cylinder failing while on vacation. I ended up trading it in (tried selling it but nobody would touch it) on a Mazda6s and have been happy ever since. After having the Mazda for 3.5 years of ownership, I plan on keeping it for at least another six years; I was only to happy to get rid of the Vue after 2.5 years of ownership. P.S. I drove buy the Mazda Dealer approximately six weeks after trading in my Vue, and it was still sitting on the lot. I felt a little bad for them.
  • Jthorner Jthorner on May 14, 2008

    Wow, this sure brings memories of Phil Ressler's November 2007 Editorial defending the Big Three to mind. "I drove buy the Mazda Dealer approximately six weeks after trading in my Vue, and it was still sitting on the lot. I felt a little bad for them." The Oldsmobile I traded in on my TSX sat on the dealer's lot for a long, long time. I wonder if they eventually wholesaled it off to some Buy Here, Pay Here lot. My good vehicles I sell to friends (twice) or give to a family member (once). But the Oldsmobile was something I really wanted to wash my hands of.

  • Offroadinfrontier Offroadinfrontier on May 14, 2008

    I wish manufacturers who built good reps would hold them, though. Old Nissans tend to be bulletproof - over 200K miles on a well-maintained engine is very easy to come by around here. Maybe some interior squeaks/rattles (and apparently rust up north on some?), but still running strong after 10, 20 years. My last alternator lasted 15 years. 22 years on the OEM clutch, still kicking. I bought a new Frontier 2 years ago, and man... things have gone downhill for sure. Personally, I'll take a car with a economy-looking interior as long as it lasts over the fancy-looking rattle/squeak/scratch prone crap available at any dealer around here (yes, ALL). Give me a decently-powered engine with a strong transmission and I'm fine. Who really needs the horsepower available in some of the cars nowadays? Trucks with V6 engines and over 260HP but no low-end grunt (who the hell is going to pull 6500 lbs when the engine is in the upper 5's going 60?? I don't care how great the engine is, it isn't going to last very long under real truck conditions). Family sedans with 0-60 times on par with last-generation sports cars, but seats and interiors that break in your hand. A car with a navigation system available but no ABS to be seen. And honestly, how heavy do cars really need to be? Here's for wishing, though...