J.D. Power: Buick and Jaguar Top Lexus for Dependability. And?
Is is that time again? The time when the MSM drinks copious amounts of Kool-Aid labeled J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability survey (VDS)? Assuming that there are TTAC readers who’ve joined us in the interim, let’s consider a couple of salient facts (as taught to us by Michael Karesh at the no-longer-TTAC-affiliated TrueDelta). First, the differences between brands in J.D.’s VDS is insignificant. Buick has 122 problems per 100 vehicles while Lexus has (shock!) 126 problems per vehicle. In the real world, this doesn’t mean you’re less or more likely to experience a problem in YOUR Buick or YOUR Lexus.
That’s because, second, J.D.’s boyz don’t break out the problems by model—the stat represents an average of both “good” and “bad” models. Third, define “problems.” J.D.’s mob doesn’t define a problem as “an issue requiring a dealer’s attention.” As we all know, there are bits that break off and then there are wallet-bashing, time-soaking mechanical meltdowns. In J.D.’s eyes, it’s all much of a muchness. See you same time next year.
Oh, and what’s with Autoblog et al.’s Lexus bashing? The AP headline claims Lexus was “dethroned.” Yes, well, six of the top ten vehicles on the J.D. VDS are Toyotas. Put that in your statistical crack pipe and smoke it.
"Automobiles have been built in Mexico for decades. The same was said about the 95 and up Generation Cavalier when it was being built there, Lordstown Ohio and Lansing Michigan : That they were inferior and watch for those with a “3″ in their VIN #. Don’t know for certain if that was true [well it was all over the Internet at the time], or simple cultural snobbery. Studebaker’s cars were claimed to be better built when they came from their Canadian factory. Who knows if it was actually true. Same with Chrysler’s Canadian problem. The PT Cruiser has been Chrysler’s most trouble free car for many years, built in Mexico. Howzat Caliber doing?" My wife drives PT convert built in Mexico and with 65k kms in 2.5yrs she is very happy with it. Theres been no assembly related trouble at all. It did have the radio replaced under warranty when it "ate" a CD, but I wouldn't blame that on the assembly plant.
You guys are missing the question raised by my Mexico comment. The question is: has there ever been a car made in a less automated plant that was superior to the same model assembled with elsewhere with more automation? Rolls are made by hand, but they have never been that trouble free. Light aircraft are mostly hand made, and delivery issues are common, like cars had 40 to 50 years ago.
I suspect most Buick buyers are 70+, staunchly patriotic, WWII vets therefore would never consider a Japanese or German car, don't drive as much as us working stiffs, and possibly hard of hearing. Add these together and you have a group that most likely will either ignore little nit-picky things in the Buick (consider the cars of the '30's and '40's they grew up driving) and/or they can't hear squeaks and rattles. No offense meant to any who are in that group. I am very proud of my father and my father-in-law; both bravely fought in WWII.