August 22, 2006

Long Term Quality Up For American Vehicles

The JD Power long term quality survey results came out and while the Japanese overall still rank better than the American's, the gap is closing fast.

The survey was for owners of 2003 vehicles.

Dig a little deeper, however, and some findings emerge that should give heart to Motown boosters. Firstly it should be noted that the survey applies to owner reported problems with 2003 vehicles. Though its hardly an excuse for Detroit automakers, the fact is that some of their most promising models have been introduced since 2003. Consequently, executives at General Motors, Ford and Chrysler Group can hope that they will score better overall results in the three-year quality studies to come over the next couple of years.

Even the press was nice to the American Auto companies.

Even with that proviso, there is cause for optimism in Detroit. While Toyota and Honda are highly ranked overall and comfortably outperform other high volume brands, certain US brands are making impressive progress. Ford's Mercury nameplate, which sold close to 200,000 vehicles last year, is second overall, behind Lexus. Close on Mercury's tail is Buick and then Cadillac; combined these two GM brands sales topped 517,000 vehicles in 2005.
A segment of special interest is midsize cars, where one would expect the Toyota Camry or Honda Accord to feature prominently. Instead, the Buick Century, Buick Regal and Mercury Sable take the honors.

So the almighty Camry has fallen from it's castle. It's only a matter of time until Toyota falls off it's pedestile.

So, behind the appearance of overall Asian superiority in quality revealed in the J.D. Power study, there are some signs of progress for Detroit brands. Going forward, the big concern must be that Motown automakers production quality will keep pace with the evident improvements in the design and engineering of newer models.

As I keep saying, Toyota and Honda's days are numbered. Within 5 years the Americans will be where Toyota is and Toyota will be where the American's are right now.

Posted by Quality Weenie at August 22, 2006 07:28 AM | TrackBack

So how are you? How are you holding up? Are Lance and Maggie May keeping you busy?

Posted by: michele at August 22, 2006 02:44 PM