Tuesday, January 6, 2009

More good news?

Someone sent me an email with all sorts of links to reliable sources saying that the best cars in the world are made right here in the US of A. For you readers not living here, please indulge we Yanks on this one as it is a harbinger of better things to come for all of us. After all, if Detroit actually makes good stuff, consumers just need to be educated to keep them employing thousands and thousands of people.

Here is it - unedited. I've checked a few of the links for legitimacy but not all so reader beware. And perhaps auto stocks might just be winners - if they don't burn through their bailout cash too fast, that is.

1. Which country can boast that their brands occupy 2 of the top 3 spots for long-term reliability? Answer: Per J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study, Mercury and Cadillac are in the top 3, along with Lexus. And in 2007, Buick was tied with Lexus for the top spot.


2. As of August 2007, which manufacturer had the most recalled vehicles in the U.S. for that year?

Answer: Volkswagen. According to Business Week, Volkswagen had the most recalls at this time a year ago. The second worst was Toyota.
http://www.businessweek.com/autos /content/aug2007/bw20070810_455098.htm

3. Pick the brand from each group that has the highest initial quality.

a. Answer : Cadillac (better than both Acura and BMW)
b. Answer: Mercury (better than both Honda and Nissan)
c. Answer: Chevrolet (better than Acura, BMW, and Mazda)

This is according to J.D. Power’s Initial Quality Survey.


4. Which midsize sedan has the highest initial quality?
Answer: The Chevrolet Malibu has better initial quality than any competitor, including the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry and Nissan Altima. The Ford Fusion also beat all three Japanese competitors.

This too is from the J.D. Power Initial Quality Survey, which also reveals that above average are American brands Mercury, Ford, Cadillac, Chevrolet , Pontiac, Lincoln, and Buick. Below average are import brands Acura, Kia, Nissan, BMW, Mazda, VW, Subaru, and Scion (and several others).

http://www.jdpower. com/corporate/news/releases/pressrelease.aspx?ID=2008063

5. Which large sedan has the highest initial quality?

Answer: Again per J.D. Power, the highest quality large car is the Pontiac Grand Prix, beating the Toyota Avalon. Two other Detroit cars that beat the Avalon are the Mercury Sable and Mercury Grand Marquis.


6. Which midsize pickup has the highest initial quality?

Answer: The Dodge Dakota has the best quality for midsize pickups, proving that Chrysler too can beat the imports. Both the Dakota and the Ford Ranger beat the Toyota Tacoma.

7. Which car is the most economical overall?

Answer: Per Edmunds.com, the premier automotive analysis site, the most economical car in America, taking into account not only mileage but all costs, is the Chevrolet Aveo. The Honda Fit is #3 and the Toyota Prius is a distant #34.


8. Which car did the Los Angeles Times describe as “a better car than BMW or Mercedes or Lexus or Infiniti”?

Answer: Cadillac makes a better car than BMW or Mercedes or Lexus or Infiniti, and that car is the 2008 CTS. No other car in the mass market dares so much as this expressive and audacious bit of automotive avant-gardism. Dan Neil, LA Times. (It might be interesting to know that the latest sales figures for full size luxury cars had the new Lincoln MKS at #3, just behind BMW and Audi, but ahead of Lexus and the Cadillac CTS.) http://www.latimes.com/classified/automotive/highway1/la-hy-neil12dec12-pg,0,5427133.photogallery

9. Which company makes the winner of the 2008 “Green Car of the Year” award?

Answer: The Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid is the winner of this award. How could a full-size SUV defeat the media darling Prius? Read the link below and you will discover,

What’s equally eye-opening is that the Tahoe’s 21 mpg city fuel efficiency rating is the same as that of the city EPA rating for the four-cylinder Toyota Camry sedan.” (The new F150, non-hybrid, also gets 21 mpg highway.)

Did you catch that? A huge, full-size SUV from Chevrolet that gets the same city mileage as a 4-cylinder Toyota Camry!! Chevy obtained this remarkable achievement through the use of its 2-mode hybrid system, a technology that Toyota does not have.

10. Which car was selected by the North American automotive press corps as the “North American Car of the Year” for 2007?

Answer: Not only was the Saturn Aura picked by the automotive press corps as better than the Honda Fit and the Toyota Camry, “When a panel of 47 journalists named the Saturn Aura the North American Car of the Year over the Toyota Camry, the vote wasn't even close, 205-89.” Chicago Tribune, 1/15/07

11. Which car won the same award for 2008?

Answer: GM again crushed the Japanese competition in 2008 when the Malibu received 190 votes to the Honda Accord’s 95. The Accord actually came in 3rd since GM’s other finalist, the Cadillac CTS, received 165 votes.

http://www.northameric ancaroftheyear.org/news.html

12. Which company had a luxury vehicle, a midsize sedan, and a large truck removed from the Consumer Reports recommended vehicles list in October 2007 because of mounting quality problems?

Answer: Toyota’s much publicized quality problems resulted in Consumer Reports actually removing from their recommended vehicles list the Lexus GS luxury car, Camry V6 sedan, and Tundra pickup. This demotion occurred in October 2007.

This Q &A list was put together by an employee of an American car company who just might lose his job because of public perceptions that do not match reality. If you are one of the many Americans who gave up on Detroit’s cars because of a bad experience many years ago, it’s time to rethink your position. Rethink Detroit.

Detroit automakers: 79 U.S. jobs per 2,500 cars sold in America

Foreign automakers: 33 jobs per 2,500 cars sold in America


plainO said...

just remember: in the buggy era, the remaining buggy whip makers make the best buggy whips ever.. it didn't stop the change. 3 Auto makers may be too little too late.

Quick Takes Pro said...


I think your comparison demands that a new technology is about to replace the automobile. A "green" car is still a car, unlike the leap from horse buggy to car a century ago.

Don't get me wrong, the US automakers have a long road ahead (pun intended). It's just that a part may just be a perception problem.