Perceptions is one of the most difficult behaviors to change in people. Today, I am speaking about perceptions of automobile quality. Many people here in the United States think that American brands are inferior in dependability versus the Japanese brands. That was generally a true statement backin the 1980's and the 1990's.
This post is about the J.D. Powers vehicle dependability study which rates automobile reliability after three years of ownership. Generally, this study determines the long term reliability of vehicles by make and brand.
Lexus has dominated the J.D. Powers vehicle dependability study since 1986. So this is shocking news that Jaguar and Buick have tied for the top spot and surpassed Lexus on the quality front. J. D. Powers dependability study surveyed owners of 2006 model year vehicles. Jaguar moved up from tenth place, meanwhile Buick moved up from sixth position from last year. Owners opinions of a cars reliability after three years can be an impact on their opinion to repurchase that auto brand again.
Auto makers watch the J. D. Powers reports closely since a positive report can increase or decrease sales. Shown below is the Jaguar XF, which is a new model for 2009 replacing the S-type.Cars have improved materially since 1986 and Lexus and Toyota have set the pace. In the J. D. Power report Lexus was in third place followed by Toyota. Mercury, Infinity and Acura take the fifth, sixth and seventh places in the survey. The worst performing brand was Suzuki, which is a Japanese brand.
The Buick LaCrosse, which was the highest ranked mid-size car, has basically been a sleeper in the automotive scene. It is a conservatively styled and designed car. It competes well against the Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord. Buick has been chosen as the GM division to compete against Lexus. Accordingly, the Buick LaCrosse will be totally redone for 2010 and looks quite impressive. Please see the June 3rd post on the 2010 LaCrosse.
This report basically shows that a number of brands are now competing with the Japanese on the long term quality of their vehicles. Ford has been on the upswing for the last couple of years...note the placement of the Mercury division. Credit does belong to Ford implementing the quality programs at Jaguar that developed this acclaim.
General Motors is increasing their quality at the same time.....the Buick division has been increasing reliability for the last five years. Many people have the perception that the American and British brands are inferior to the Japanese in quality. That may have been the case ten years ago but times are changing!
This story is based on an article written by Dan Strump the Associated Press news story.