QOTD: Hard Feelings?
Yesterday’s attempt by Mitsubishi to generate excitement and anticipation among brand loyalists (are there any?) got your author thinking.
Thinking, as a movie character once said, is a thing a man should never do, but it happened just the same. These thoughts revolved around brands, loyalty, passion… and hate.
Yours truly is sometimes prone to irrational feelings, though, unlike some members of the Twitter community, he doesn’t try to pass these off as evidence of virtuousness. None of us are immune from harboring negative feelings towards companies, brands, people, places, and things. And sometimes with good reason.
It can be an act of corporate malfeasance. Maybe a product once burned you (literally or figuratively). Perhaps the lame fandom surrounding a certain entity turns you off more than the products it sells. A wholly unexplainable impulse might be the thing that keeps you away.
We’re not going to focus on that dodgy mail-order coleslaw maker today; instead, it’s automotive brands only, baby. Which brand will you absolutely never buy from, on principle — even if some of its products seem interesting and worthwhile?
Why the animosity?
[Image: Murilee Martin/TTAC]
This is a hard question these days, because I feel like every manufacturer out there has vehicles that they make that are better than others, whether because they've been making them long enough to work out the bugs or because they're assembled in a particularly good plant. It also feels like a reliability question, and that's something I'm strongly attracted to the older I get. I got seriously burned by a Lincoln MKZ, yet I have an F150 that has been trouble free for 6 years. I also drove a Mercury Grand Marquis for 10 years and it was very reliable. I would buy another Ford or Lincoln, but not just any model. Generally speaking, I'll buy most any vehicle that's made in significant quantity with minor changes year to year. In my experience, that leads to long term reliability and cheap parts access. I know Dodge doesn't have a great reputation for quality, but I'm getting more and more comfortable with the idea of buying a Charger because they've been making them for so long now and there are lots and lots of them around.
Subscribed for later reading . -Nate
Volvo and Ford because of the myriad of issues we had with our bought-new S70 and Edge. GM because of their bullshit bankruptcy, stripping liability for pre-2009 owners and shredding value for common shareholders. As always, the execs did just fine.
I don't necessarily have a brand per se, but I have a dealer that I will never buy from again. A couple years ago I had a 300S, which for most practical intents and purposes was a great car. It was quiet, reasonably powerful, reasonably fuel efficient for such a large car, and had a road presence I'd never had in a car. I realize these are all subjective assessments of the car, but you get my point. The one sore spot was the infotainment system; I know small niggle. I couldn't get it to operate correctly for more than a few days at a time. When on the freeway it would start buzzing at the top of its volume range for miles, especially fun during rush hour when you're not moving fast and everybody could hear it. Knowing this was small potatoes compared to any major mechanical issues, I addressed it with the dealer when I had gone in for an oil change. The first time I mentioned it I received the stock "could not replicate, did you try changing your cable"; it primarily acted up using Android Auto; again small potatoes, but you expect the things to work on a new car. I kept it under my hat and kept monitoring it and it kept acting up. I brought it in for another oil change and they managed to replicate, but the tech who works on that system was "out for the week"; there's nobody else who knows about UConnect? I received a loaner and told them to figure out what was wrong. The dealer never initiated contact with me and I had to call them every single time for any updates. Each update was something along the lines of "the tech is still out," or "we've ordered parts," or "we need to do nsome calibrations." In my attempt to retain patience I went along because I had wheels and my main aggravation was not knowing what was happening with this vehicle that I was paying good money for. When I finally got it back most of the menu items in the system were gone. I turned around and went back to the advisor and he said it needed some over the air updates and to just drive the car around so it could get its over the air updates. A week later most things were still missing. I threw in the towel and went to Mazda, never to look back. Now it's not the brand/company that I specifically hate; I still want a Challenger after all; but I flat refuse to go back to that dealer even though they continue to send their beggy letters.