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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Now that Consumer Reports has finally joined the 21st century and acknowledged that American brand vehicles are superior in quality to their European counterparts, the concepts of quality and reliability may need to be discredited as a factor in evaluating a car.

After all, how can the automotive rag "journalists" maintain their bias--part of which is built on the myth that European cars are well-built--in the face of increasing recognition of the facts? They have no choice but to subjugate the whole concept of quality and reliability to other far more important factors, like how cool they look sipping a latte' behind the wheel of their overpriced over-hyped foo-foo European convertible.

I had a feeling it was coming; and this morning, some tangible proof showed up in my e-mail Inbox in the form of an edmunds.com news alert:


Reliability Off, but Euro Ragtops Still Loved

Consumer Reports says that American car companies are doing much better at reliability these days than the European brands -- yet many Euro cars, like the BMW Z4 and Porsche Boxster remain popular with buyers though they can be less reliable than domestic models. CR's latest survey of reliability finds that American brands have made vast strides in quality in the past two decades, hurdling ahead of European brands when it comes to problems reported on average for each new car sold. American brands rated 18 problems per 100 new vehicles sold, while Euro brands came in at 20 problems, with all Audi, Jaguar, Land Rover and Mercedes models scoring below-average reliability. In the same survey, when ranking the vehicles that they'd buy again, BMW's Z4, the Mini Cooper and Porsche's Boxster ranked highly, along with the Corvette, Hummer H2 and Chevy Tahoe.
(source: edmunds.com e-mail alert)

It would be easy to say that edmunds.com is simply reporting the facts--just calling it as they see it. I could buy that argument if the conclusions reached by a Consumer Reports quality survey were for the purpose of indicating buyer trends; but that is decidedly not the purpose of this particular survey.

When you report news regarding quality surveys, the facts of the story center around the conclusions drawn by the results of the research that was conducted. When you introduce mitigating information unrelated to the facts, it becomes commentary.

This is a very common ploy used by so-called "journalists" when they want the story to reflect their bias. You'll see it a lot this election season, i.e. when a candidate makes an appearance at some venue and the reporter feels the need to include man-on-the-street reactions that uniformly cast a mitigating or outright negative view of the candidate, even if the candidate's appearance involved little or no politicking.

The candidate in this case is the American car. Sure, it's going to be more reliable than its European counterpart, but how about those cool BMW ragtops!! :woot2:
 

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you people just don't get it, i suppose. some people are willing to put up with a few more problems from the European brands, not necessarily because "they look cool sipping their latte" in them, but because they are much more fun to drive. i can't ever imagine a Cavalier (or the upcoming Cobalt) being nearly as fun to drive as a Jetta, or GM making a car quite like the Boxster or Audi TT. besides, 2 more problems (20 versus 18) out of 100 cars ISN'T that much. plus, the feel of the Euros is usually a LOT better. nicer interiors, better fit and finish, more comfy seats. that stuff goes a long way toward making customers happy, even when they have to take their cars in for service more than they would like to. you people just don't see, there are a lot more things that people consider when buying cars than stupid "quality surveys". you can back up anything you consider to be a fact with numbers, on either side of an argument. that one source of info you use could easily be contested by someone else. i can tell you this, my Acura, and my VW are both excellent cars, and i would never trade them for a GM. i've been burned by GM in the past, but the two foreigners in my garage are very, very good to me. surveys be damned.



:pain:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You've missed the point of this editorial.

The point is that, if the the edmunds.com e-mail alert is any indication, the weighting of quality and reliability as factors in determining "the right car for you" may be diminishing in order that so-called journalists might continue supporting their pro-Euro slant.

The Consumer Reports survey wasn't about how much fun one car is over another--it was about which cars are more reliable. See?

The CR survey came to the same conclusion that other surveys came to years ago. That's the news story. The need to express commentary to mitigate the central story is an indication of bias.

Do you understand?
 

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Originally posted by SUPERBADD75@Mar 18 2004, 06:52 PM
you people just don't get it, i suppose. some people are willing to put up with a few more problems from the European brands, not necessarily because "they look cool sipping their latte" in them, but because they are much more fun to drive. i can't ever imagine a Cavalier (or the upcoming Cobalt) being nearly as fun to drive as a Jetta, or GM making a car quite like the Boxster or Audi TT. besides, 2 more problems (20 versus 18) out of 100 cars ISN'T that much. plus, the feel of the Euros is usually a LOT better. nicer interiors, better fit and finish, more comfy seats. that stuff goes a long way toward making customers happy, even when they have to take their cars in for service more than they would like to. you people just don't see, there are a lot more things that people consider when buying cars than stupid "quality surveys". you can back up anything you consider to be a fact with numbers, on either side of an argument. that one source of info you use could easily be contested by someone else. i can tell you this, my Acura, and my VW are both excellent cars, and i would never trade them for a GM. i've been burned by GM in the past, but the two foreigners in my garage are very, very good to me. surveys be damned.



:pain:
what do you have in you garage? and the average euro car isnt any better than the average american car, including style, deffenently not reliability, and not feel. you are comparing the jetta and cobalt, the cobalt will be much cheaper, it looks better, and VW has one of the worst reliablity ratings in europe. which is already averaged below us. you also mention porche and the audi, audi also has bad reliablity, and the feel is quickly getting behind times. as for porche you have to compare it to another specialty brand, and the only thing america has for that is what saleen? i mean come one, all they make is sports cars.

your not looking at the average euro brand, your only looking at the brands that are extra good, the brands that are good enouph to export, like bmw is probably on your mind, which is already starting to get banged for some of its new cars. like the un-BMW feel of the new X3, while the SRX recived a higherstands than the BMWs X5, including the Thunk you find when shutting the door of such a nice car, is it in bmw where it has always been pressent, no, is it showing up in cadillac? yes.

the average euro brand, the ones you see everywhere are like fiat, opel, VW, and lancia. not bmw, jag (which has fallen like whoa), porche, lambo, ferrarie, and mercedies. MB is also another company that is ooooooo so great, but did you knwo its quality and reliability has fallen lower than chevy? yeah its getting pretty bad...
 

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Huh?

If I understand correctly, the sentance that seems to really bother you is this one:

"In the same survey, when ranking the vehicles that they'd buy again, BMW's Z4, the Mini Cooper and Porsche's Boxster ranked highly, along with the Corvette, Hummer H2 and Chevy Tahoe."

What's the problem here, exactly? They mentioned three desirable domestics - all GM as a matter of fact!

People who care about cars buy cars like these ones that are far more than just transportation. Whether they'd buy another is more a testiment of whether the car lived up to their expectations. In this case, it's more a question of whether there were so many problems that even they started to dislike the car.

Car nuts like us are notorious for putting up with all kinds of obvious faults, just to drive the car of our dreams. Ask a second-gen F-body owner if their car squeaks and rattles and their likely to say "Yeah, but then I hit the gas or nail a corner and I forget about the little things." Ask a Fiero owner about engine fires, and he's solution will likely be to swap in a V6 or V8!

In addition, European cars have had a very spotty reliability record as a whole. For every Mercedes (who seems to be slipping of late) there were hoards of Peugeots and Fiats - cool cars that were so frustrating, even enthusiasts gave up.

The target for reliability isn't high dollar cars from Europe - it's mass market cars from Japan. That's why the average buyer will flock to a car like the Camary or why the weird styling of the current Accord doesn't matter. People trust they are screwed together well and that the maker will stand behind their product if there is any problem.

Once GM earns back that reputation (which will take a few years yet), average buyers will have one more reason (beyond price and incentives) to give mainline GM cars another look.
 

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GM vehicles aren't reliable. I wouldn't put confidence in General Motors cars for reliability. Our 1999 Seville STS is so flawed it is undriveable.Everytime we get in it something else goes wrong. This time we are having a lemon-aid auction. We are issuing our own press releases and will auction All our Cadillac memoribilia and items to release our car from Service where it is held hostgae by the Zone sERVICE MANAGER AND DEALER service manager
Now both our Ford Explorers have been trouble free and no problem at all.....zero zip.What could have been percieved as General motors getting bewtter was just an freak thing.GM cars are as awful as they always have been. But with all this retro stuff going on .....think the 350 diesel is just around the corner
 

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what do you have in you garage? and the average euro car isnt any better than the average american car, including style, deffenently not reliability, and not feel. you are comparing the jetta and cobalt, the cobalt will be much cheaper, it looks better, and VW has one of the worst reliablity ratings in europe. which is already averaged below us. you also mention porche and the audi, audi also has bad reliablity, and the feel is quickly getting behind times. as for porche you have to compare it to another specialty brand, and the only thing america has for that is what saleen? i mean come one, all they make is sports cars.
in my garage is an Acura integra, and a VW Cabrio. both excellent cars, both trouble free, and both under $25k. compare to what you want, but there aren't any domestics that i would ever consider over these two fine automotive specimen. those quality surveys mean jack to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Originally posted by Tone@Mar 18 2004, 11:22 AM
If I understand correctly, the sentance that seems to really bother you is this one:

"In the same survey, when ranking the vehicles that they'd buy again, BMW's Z4, the Mini Cooper and Porsche's Boxster ranked highly, along with the Corvette, Hummer H2 and Chevy Tahoe."

What's the problem here, exactly? They mentioned three desirable domestics - all GM as a matter of fact!
Nope, I have a problem with the slant of the whole article.

If yous is the point they intended to get across, then why is the article called "Reliability Off, but Euro Ragtops Still Loved"? Shouldn't it be something more along the lines of "Reliability gains translate to buyer loyalty"?

And why would there be verbiage like:


...yet many Euro cars, like the BMW Z4 and Porsche Boxster remain popular with buyers though they can be less reliable than domestic models
The article is clearly suggesting that reliability is not weighing strongly against the decision to buy a European car.

It wasn't so long ago that reliability and quality were considered prime reasons for choosing a European car. Now that it is becoming increasingly difficult to make a pro-Euro argument on the basis of quality, the importance of quality as a deciding factor is suddenly shown to be less relevant.

If this is supposed to be a pro-domestic "go out and buy a GM car article", well, I guess I have a reading comprehension problem.
 
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Style.
:afro: <_<
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Originally posted by 1999seville@Mar 18 2004, 11:33 AM
GM vehicles aren't reliable. I wouldn't put confidence in General Motors cars for reliability. Our 1999 Seville STS is so flawed it is undriveable.Everytime we get in it something else goes wrong. This time we are having a lemon-aid auction. We are issuing our own press releases and will auction All our Cadillac memoribilia and items to release our car from Service where it is held hostgae by the Zone sERVICE MANAGER AND DEALER service manager
  Now both our Ford Explorers have been trouble free and no problem at all.....zero zip.What could have been percieved as General motors getting bewtter was just an freak thing.GM cars are as awful as they always have been. But with all this retro stuff going on .....think the 350 diesel is just around the corner
Oh puh-leeze. Not this again.

I have had six trouble-free Cadillacs, three of which I have now. JD Power, and now CR, say that Cadillac owners are happier than most. YOU are the exception.

You got ripped off with a poorly prepared car from a crappy dealership that shouldn't have certified that car given the condition you describe it to have been in. Okay?

Your sniveling and whining will do nothing to solve your problem, so wipe that chip off your shoulder and either take it to a dealership that will honor the certified used car warranty and fix it properly, or go buy another car already.
 

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Originally posted by 1999seville@Mar 18 2004, 07:33 PM
Now both our Ford Explorers have been trouble free and no problem at all.....zero zip.What could have been percieved as General motors getting bewtter was just an freak thing.GM cars are as awful as they always have been.
I would be more inclined to believe surveys with thousands of responses and that your experience with one bad '99 Seville is a freak thing, not the other way around.
 

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See the thing is that for every 10 owners that has a ****ty STS like yours, there may be 11 BMW 325 owners that have the same issues with their cars. The key for GM is to get the public on a whole to realize that their cars are built well and GM will stand behind their product. That's just going to take some time yet but I haven't seen a problem in any post-2000 GM car I've ever seen.
 

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Go hang out at the service department of ANY brand.
You'll see someone with a problem for sure. No car company is problem free.
 

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there's a mix of reliability/style/price/comfort/economy factors that have to be considered for every purchase. obviously BMW (and some other europeans) rank high enough in some of those categories to let the reliability one slide. that's totally understandable. so the guy that loves his jetta and wouldn't buy a cavalier is more concerned with driving dynamics and the fun factor than initial cost and reliability (ie the guy who'd buy a cavalier). if it's a compromise he's willing to make more power to him! i'm sure he'll enjoy owning his jetta, even if he does hit the garage a little more often.

i'm the same... my new pontiac had a/c and radio problems (within the first year), but it's not enough to scare me off. i'm so impressed with the car in every other respect that i'd buy another and risk the same problems. that goes to show that GM has to chase all types of consumers with impressive product by all measureables, not just quality. though i sure think it should be an important factor on anyones list!
 

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Originally posted by coolcaddy@Mar 18 2004, 01:45 PM
Nope, I have a problem with the slant of the whole article.

If yous is the point they intended to get across, then why is the article called "Reliability Off, but Euro Ragtops Still Loved"? Shouldn't it be something more along the lines of "Reliability gains translate to buyer loyalty"?

And why would there be verbiage like:


...yet many Euro cars, like the BMW Z4 and Porsche Boxster remain popular with buyers though they can be less reliable than domestic models
The article is clearly suggesting that reliability is not weighing strongly against the decision to buy a European car.

It wasn't so long ago that reliability and quality were considered prime reasons for choosing a European car.
There is a old saying in journalism: dog bites man, no story ... but if man bites dog, well, that's a story.

In other words, stuff that's obvious and happens every day isn't exactly newsworthy. Thus a headline like "Reliability gains translate to buyer loyalty" isn't excatly news. The fact the poorer than expected reliability by some touted Euro cars hasn't ye thurt their popularity (as might be expected) is.

As I said previously, I don't think that Euro cars - in general - are particulary known for their reliability. Some of the German cars - yes, though they seem to be slipping of late. But English cars? Italian cars? French cars? They would kill to have the reputation the domestic brands currently enjoy, at least in NA.

It's taken year's of Ford investment in Jaguar to begin to overcome that marque's reputation for beautiful but troublesome cars. Ferraris and Lambos have only recently started to have the basic kind of fit and finish and reliability standards that medium-priced buyers take for granted. You might notice that Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Peugeot, Citroen amoung others have basically given up on North America as they could not meet the minimum expectations for reliability and dealer networks expected here.
 

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Anyone that thinks that all brands of cars aren't going to have any problems are clearly mistaken. Things happen, stuff breaks, most of the time because of owner neglect to the vehicle. They think because they have a euro/japanese car that it'll last longer without taking care of it. In my opinion the majority of problems happen because of people not paying attention to their car. They assume it'll take care of itself. I've got a 94 grand am that's had no major problems and would buy another Pontiac in heart beat.
 

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The reason reliability/quality is less of a factor in buyers' minds is that all cars have gotten dramatically better. The gap between the worst and the best has shrunken to next to nothing. The growing consumer appreciation of this fact will, I expect, ultimately kill Toyota's momentum in the US market.
 

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I don't think many people, niave as it is, look at reliability when making a decision on a new car...you can pretty much be sure you will be happy no matter what you buy. And yes, they all break, they all make the lemons.

I find the Toyota/Nissan/Mazda guys are after reliabilty, the BMWs and MB's are more for status than anything else, the big three buyers have a lower price/status concern and can take some comfort in that their domestic car will have some quality in it.

My freinds and I run the whole spectrum from boxter to silverado and everyone has different issues and different enjoyments so personally, I think people will buy the car that excites them. If having 2 less problems per 100 vehicles built is your reason for buyig a car, maybe you should take the bus!!
:D

Good to see the domestics score so high. Now if they would just restyle the GTO....

later
Tim
 

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I have no doubt that Cadillacs are screwed together better than other GM products (although I cannot definitively comment, as I've never owned one).

Regardless, the key to GM's continued success is to build and sell stylish & reliable mass-market products -- the entry-level coupes & sedans and a whole range of SUVs.

I personally own a 2003 FrailBlazer -- which has been nothing but problematic in the 11 months I've owned it. Am I alone with these problems? Not at all -- three of us bought these rolling pieces of garbage within four months of each other, and none of us own what could remotely be called a reliable, well-screwed together vehicle. The only good thing about these trucks is the engine -- the 4.2 inline-six is a jewel, but GM ruined the experience by building a 1980's-era Hyundai-quality-level vehicle around it.

It's my last GM (I've owned a number of the General's products over the past 20 years). I'm not risking my money on this company again.

-J
 

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Originally posted by bangstudios@Mar 19 2004, 04:41 PM
I have no doubt that Cadillacs are screwed together better than other GM products (although I cannot definitively comment, as I've never owned one).

Regardless, the key to GM's continued success is to build and sell stylish & reliable mass-market products -- the entry-level coupes & sedans and a whole range of SUVs.

I personally own a 2003 FrailBlazer -- which has been nothing but problematic in the 11 months I've owned it. Am I alone with these problems? Not at all -- three of us bought these rolling pieces of garbage within four months of each other, and none of us own what could remotely be called a reliable, well-screwed together vehicle. The only good thing about these trucks is the engine -- the 4.2 inline-six is a jewel, but GM ruined the experience by building a 1980's-era Hyundai-quality-level vehicle around it.

It's my last GM (I've owned a number of the General's products over the past 20 years). I'm not risking my money on this company again.

-J
this is more concerning than some guy who says "cadillac sux!" this is clearly an intelligent guy who's willing to admit the pros of his vehicle (the engine) but can't look past the faults. and i can't blame him! people will easily ignore buddy ranting about his second-hand caddy, but this guy with the 'frailblazer' wouldn't be so hard to ignore, because he makes valid points. it still just represents one vehicle, but this guy won't be buying another. and how many people who know him and listen to him would buy a trailblazer? the signs are good for GM reliability... but there are lotsa vehicles out there that were produced a few years back when those numbers weren't so good. might take a while before these quality improvements come to the forefront and represent the bulk of GM's on the road.
 
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