When Ford and GM Wouldn't Listen, J.D. Power Turned to Toyota

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Thread: When Ford and GM Wouldn't Listen, J.D. Power Turned to Toyota

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    When Ford and GM Wouldn't Listen, J.D. Power Turned to Toyota

    When Ford and GM Wouldn't Listen, J.D. Power Turned to Toyota
    The Street
    BY Ted Reed
    10/04/13

    DETROIT (TheStreet) -- Like any great entrepreneur, Dave Power started with a good idea, got it in front of people who could pay for it and watched it grow.
    As a result, the name J.D. Power became a symbol of credible consumer research, not just in the auto industry, where it has long been focused, but also in other businesses. Toyota (TM_), the company Power bonded most closely with, succeeded partially as a result. And Ford (F_) and GM (GM_), businesses that at first rejected Power, eventually came along.

    At 82 year old, Power is a retired eminence today, living the good life in Westlake Village, Calif. Born and raised in Worcester, Mass., he still attends Boston Red Sox games. At his first game, he saw the rookie Ted Williams hit a preseason home run in 1939; most recently, he took half a dozen family members to see the Red Sox play the Dodgers in Los Angeles in August. He and his children run a family foundation that gives to his favorite causes, which include Boston Children's Hospital, the College of the Holy Cross, his alma mater, and other entrepreneurial and medical research causes.

    Power reminisces in a recently published book, "Power: How J.D. Power III Became the Auto Industry's Adviser, Confessor, and Eyewitness to History," written by Sarah Morgans and Bill Thorness and published by Fenwick Publishing Group in Bainbridge Island, Wash.
    In a recent interview, Power recalled two meetings with Ford CEO Alan Mulally, who is not mentioned in the book. When Mulally joined Ford in 2006, he reached out to many in the industry, including Power, to pick their brains. "He called me, he'd been on the job for six weeks, and he said he'd like me to come by and see him, so I did," Power recalled. "I spent an hour with him, and he was interested in my views of what was going on and so forth. Three years later, I ran into him at an event, and he came up to me, and he said 'Dave, I did everything you told me to do, didn't I?'"
    It was a long way from the start of Power's career, when Ford and GM executives wouldn't let him in the door.

    More at link: http://www.thestreet.com/story/12058...to-toyota.html

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    Re: When Ford and GM Wouldn't Listen, J.D. Power Turned to Toyota

    Very interesting read, I might even get the book. I think there are two main take-aways: 1) If you are too successful you start to believe your own cool-aid 2) The less successful are ready to listen and take advice.

    As GM becomes more successful what can they do to not lapse back into that "we know better" kind of thinking? I suspect it is human nature to "over believe" in ourselves once we have success and think we know best. Toyota hit the top and appears to have gone down this same path.

    Though it is possible that there are so many competitors in the auto industry today that it may be much harder to fall into that "we know best" attitude as there is always competition nipping at their heals.

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    Re: When Ford and GM Wouldn't Listen, J.D. Power Turned to Toyota

    Really? David Power says, "Toyota (TM_), the company Power bonded most closely with, succeeded partially as a result."? Doesn't that severely skew the reliability of their numbers, having "bonded" with ANY of their subjects?

    I understand that the main issue that most automakers have with JD Power, is that it isn't particularly objective, relying on more of a popularity contest mentality. While that is still a useful measure, it can offer up oddly skewed results. My favorite has always been the "poor quality" rating that was given to the Hummer line. If you dug deeper to find out what customers were complaining about, it was most often "poor fuel economy". Really? You bought a Hummer, and you got poor fuel economy? How could that be?
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    Re: When Ford and GM Wouldn't Listen, J.D. Power Turned to Toyota

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainDan View Post
    Really? David Power says, "Toyota (TM_), the company Power bonded most closely with, succeeded partially as a result."? Doesn't that severely skew the reliability of their numbers, having "bonded" with ANY of their subjects?

    I understand that the main issue that most automakers have with JD Power, is that it isn't particularly objective, relying on more of a popularity contest mentality. While that is still a useful measure, it can offer up oddly skewed results. My favorite has always been the "poor quality" rating that was given to the Hummer line. If you dug deeper to find out what customers were complaining about, it was most often "poor fuel economy". Really? You bought a Hummer, and you got poor fuel economy? How could that be?
    But wont the auto manufacturers have that data that makes up the "poor quality" rating? We just see the headline and the overall "poor quality" rating, but not what makes it up. So do the automakers really have an issue with JD Powers, or is it just us because we don't see why our team (GM) is getting a poor rating?

    Though with the general public reading "poor" without knowing why can certainly alter what they buy. But I suspect that gives the automakers incentive to buy the survey to find out the results and fix them so that people will buy their cars.

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    Re: When Ford and GM Wouldn't Listen, J.D. Power Turned to Toyota

    I still say there's a lot of intangibles that aren't measured by CSI surveys. Such as the expectation of the type of buyer who buys a specific type of vehicle.

    For example, had a friend tell me of the first time he rode in his girlfriend's late model Civic. "Best car I ever owned", she had told him. He said the interior rattled like a Styrofoam cup full of bb's. When he asked her about all the noise, she replied, "What noise?"

    He said a Chevy Cobalt owner having heard the same noise from their car would have crucified GM on the CSI survey.

    That's just an example of what CSI doesn't measure.

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    Re: When Ford and GM Wouldn't Listen, J.D. Power Turned to Toyota

    Quote Originally Posted by MrCritical View Post
    I still say there's a lot of intangibles that aren't measured by CSI surveys. Such as the expectation of the type of buyer who buys a specific type of vehicle.

    For example, had a friend tell me of the first time he rode in his girlfriend's late model Civic. "Best car I ever owned", she had told him. He said the interior rattled like a Styrofoam cup full of bb's. When he asked her about all the noise, she replied, "What noise?"

    He said a Chevy Cobalt owner having heard the same noise from their car would have crucified GM on the CSI survey.

    That's just an example of what CSI doesn't measure.
    Agreed, but is there any way to get around that? I'd think it would be too much data to work with if you factor stuff like that in (plus no one would fill out the survey because it would be to long).

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    Re: When Ford and GM Wouldn't Listen, J.D. Power Turned to Toyota

    Quote Originally Posted by MrCritical View Post
    I still say there's a lot of intangibles that aren't measured by CSI surveys. Such as the expectation of the type of buyer who buys a specific type of vehicle.

    For example, had a friend tell me of the first time he rode in his girlfriend's late model Civic. "Best car I ever owned", she had told him. He said the interior rattled like a Styrofoam cup full of bb's. When he asked her about all the noise, she replied, "What noise?"

    He said a Chevy Cobalt owner having heard the same noise from their car would have crucified GM on the CSI survey.

    That's just an example of what CSI doesn't measure.
    and a further digging MAY show the GF owned a Tempo B4 the CIVIC that both DRANK like a sailer and was in the shop every three weeks and raddled as bad MAKING the CIVIC a VERY good car compared to the last one WHERE as the BF comes from a family that drove camries and NOW finds his COBALT is quieter and just as good on gas as the Camries

    point being is everybody Judges their current car off of/against their previous car as that is the ONLY ONE they know intimately

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    Re: When Ford and GM Wouldn't Listen, J.D. Power Turned to Toyota

    Quote Originally Posted by MrCritical View Post
    I still say there's a lot of intangibles that aren't measured by CSI surveys. Such as the expectation of the type of buyer who buys a specific type of vehicle.

    For example, had a friend tell me of the first time he rode in his girlfriend's late model Civic. "Best car I ever owned", she had told him. He said the interior rattled like a Styrofoam cup full of bb's. When he asked her about all the noise, she replied, "What noise?"

    He said a Chevy Cobalt owner having heard the same noise from their car would have crucified GM on the CSI survey.

    That's just an example of what CSI doesn't measure.
    True to a point. My Uncle once drove 3 1/2 hours to buy a Mazda B4000, because they were rated higher than the Ranger the local Dealer sold.

    The 1987 Pony was Hyundia's Entry, into Canada anyway's. A pretty Crappy Car. GM thought they would never make it and look where they are today. By 1993 GM was Importing and rebadging Daewoo's into Canada for PBG dealerships. Dismal Failure.

    2003 When I left GM, Everyone from the CO dealership I was working at, were excited about GM's purchase of the Failed Daewoo and the New Product. Yes USA didn't get the Epica, but the Optra and Suzuki (Epica/Lancia) model, should tell the storey.

    We sold 4 GM Badged Daewoo's for $3000 less that an Equal Sunfire, plus the Customer got $1500 worth of extended warranty. Base Car $8999 verses $11999 for the Sunfire, plus the warranty.
    Last edited by doh; 10-04-2013 at 09:09 PM.

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    Re: When Ford and GM Wouldn't Listen, J.D. Power Turned to Toyota

    They didnt listen to W.E. Deming either, the man who pioneered mass production high quality control. Got them into serious trouble.
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    Re: When Ford and GM Wouldn't Listen, J.D. Power Turned to Toyota

    GM doesn't need JD power now that they have Consumer Reports on their team.

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    Re: When Ford and GM Wouldn't Listen, J.D. Power Turned to Toyota

    Quote Originally Posted by Evo69 View Post
    They didnt listen to W.E. Deming either, the man who pioneered mass production high quality control. Got them into serious trouble.
    Very true, Deming, Power and Womack (author of "The Machine That Changed the World") and Lean Manufacturing pioneer where all ignored by Detroit and payed a price for it, and now what they tried to get Detroit to do is considered "mandatory" among all successful businesses - manufacturing or service based.

    Yet we still have posts of "what about this" or "my (fill in the blank) did this and..."; why not just admit the guy was right and move on?

    Trust me, once you understand why "Quality is Free", you can't imagine ever doing it any other way.

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    Re: When Ford and GM Wouldn't Listen, J.D. Power Turned to Toyota

    Every corolla ive been in has been a disappointment. And Honda is the king of road noise.
    I was underwhelmed over how poorly my sisters Honda pilot drove.
    I think for most people it is car as appliance. It better be reliable, as long as it is they don't notice anything wrong, even epic road noise.
    Speaking of that, I will not buy a car if it has a lot, it is ever present and the hwy at 80 mph ruins the ownership experience for me.

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    Re: When Ford and GM Wouldn't Listen, J.D. Power Turned to Toyota

    Every industry has their media wonks and unfortunately each has to cow-tow to them to get the press they want (not necessarily need)...

    GM and Ford--like others--made a decision that went wrong... I hope they learned (as it seems from Mulally and Ford), but, is JD Powers the right wonk to wink at???
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    Re: When Ford and GM Wouldn't Listen, J.D. Power Turned to Toyota

    Quote Originally Posted by Evo69 View Post
    They didnt listen to W.E. Deming either, the man who pioneered mass production high quality control. Got them into serious trouble.
    Deming and Powers = Americans, who american companies wouldn't listen to, but who Japan *did* and benefited from!
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    Re: When Ford and GM Wouldn't Listen, J.D. Power Turned to Toyota

    Quote Originally Posted by hunchman View Post
    GM doesn't need JD power now that they have Consumer Reports on their team.
    Totally different. CR is not a scientifically based survey. it surveys only subscribers to CR and reflects their biases.

    JDP - does random surveys of owners and new purchasers.

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