It's all about reputation ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: It's all about reputation

Thursday, January 26, 2006

It's all about reputation

It's interesting how consumer reports rates ford and GM lower than JD Powers does in quality and reliability. But the point is made in that American cars are better today, Americans just don't believe it, yet. It's also a very good point that Ford and GM spent years not caring about quality and so it's going to take years for them to build their reputation back up.

By the way, Consumer Reports has rated "the Ford Escape Hybrid SUV is "better than average," for example, and the
closely-related Mercury Mariner SUV is "much better than average" in
reliability." - Fact check: Are American cars really that bad? - Jan 25, 2006
Reputation: Toyota has, by now, had a lifetime to cement its reputation among American consumers for nearly fool-proof quality. GM (Research) and Ford (Research) spent nearly as long honing a reputation for not caring much about quality. Things may have improved, but it takes a long time for that to sink in.

Recalls: GM, in particular, has had a problem with headline-making recalls. It's a big company, it sells a lot of vehicles and they share a lot of components. When one of those parts goes wrong, eye-popping numbers of vehicles can be affected. That doesn't mean the vehicles are unreliable. Recalls are a different sort of problem. But it does cause concerns.

Reviews: GM and Ford vehicles haven't always exuded the quality that may have been hiding in there somewhere. Cheap-feeling interior materials, raspy-sounding engines and gap-filled construction didn't give potential buyers the feeling of confidence that even lesser Japanese brands manage to carry off.

Both GM and Ford are making strides in this area, too. Some recent GM and Ford products should go a long way to correcting the image of throwaway construction.

GM and Ford deserve credit for what they've done so far. But American consumers have shown they still need lots more proof.

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