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Harris Poll Shows A Good Amount Of People Still Think American Vehicle Are Poor Quality


William Maley
Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
August 9, 2012

Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors have been making great strides in quality. J.D. Power and Associates' recent Vehicle Dependability Study saw Buick, Ford, and Lincoln above the industry average. Also, Cadillac, GMC, Chevrolet, and Ram trucks all ranked above average in J.D. Power's Initial Quality Study.

However, there is still many people who view these three as inferior vehicles. A new poll from Harris Interactive says that out of 2,634 U.S. adults, 35% said they find the quality of american vehicles to be inferior to imports. The poll also found that 24% of adults find imports to be inferior and 42% find quality to be the same.

Part of this comes from certain studies which place most american vehicles below the industry average. Also, the wording Harris used in the question has us wondering. The company asked people what they thought about the quality "American made vehicles" - which would lead many, but not all, people to assume Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors.

Source: Kicking Tires

William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
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13 Comments

It's going to take a while longer for the news to get out about how much better American vehicles have become. Great strides have been made in even the last five years.
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I have to agree with the "misleading wording" statement...most people probably think American brands, but my Nissan and Jeep were both built here in the US...then again, also Mexico and Canada are "American" locations technically...if you want a better study, ask a better question
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Old perceptions die hard.
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I've found plenty of junkiness with the hondas and toyotas I try to work with lately. 09 corolla, wouldn't start today..... hondas with junk navs, blown trannies....
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You'd think 30 MILLION recalled toyotas & lexuses would have turned the tide already.
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You'd think 30 MILLION recalled toyotas & lexuses would have turned the tide already.

Not for the True Believers and Consumer Reports readers...
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You'd think 30 MILLION recalled toyotas & lexuses would have turned the tide already.

Not for the True Believers and Consumer Reports readers...


Don't we already have one recently ranting in the Saab thread? The guy did not even know who the Corolla competitor of GM was and yet was convinced the 11 year old car was better!

GM's problem is indeed perception; this report just confirms it.
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I've found plenty of junkiness with the hondas and toyotas I try to work with lately. 09 corolla, wouldn't start today..... hondas with junk navs, blown trannies....


Toyota and Honda Quality is really down. Woman I work with had a CRV that wasn't grreat, she traded it on a Chrysler Minivan and loves the Chrysler.
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You'd think 30 MILLION recalled toyotas & lexuses would have turned the tide already.

Not for the True Believers and Consumer Reports readers...


Don't we already have one recently ranting in the Saab thread? The guy did not even know who the Corolla competitor of GM was and yet was convinced the 11 year old car was better!

GM's problem is indeed perception; this report just confirms it.


And the only cure is getting people into GM cars to see for themselves.
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Only way to change this perception is to get people into the auto's. Since many do not like going to dealerships, it would make sense to take some auto's to the local busy park so people can check out the auto's and test drive them.
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Toyota and Honda both had recalls... however, to the owners of these cars, the problems got fixed for free. Its a black eye, but it didn't hit the Toyota and Honda owners in the pocket book (at least not directly... perhaps some lost resale value). GM's quality problems bit people in the ass on things that failed that weren't covered by recalls, warranty or by GM weaseling out of fixing the problem on their dime.

Also, remember, most GM aficionados did not desert GM after one problem car... but after car after car of problems. Lets say the quality started becoming an issue in the early '70s... it was 1984 when the Japanese cars really started making inroads... thats 15 years of quality problems before switching... depending on how long people kept their cars, that 3-6 cars. Obviously, a lot of GM people didn't leave until GM continued shooting themselves in the foot with more brain damaged ideas and problems. Realistically, Toyota and Honda are going to need to put out at least a decade of bad cars before getting a GM-like bad rep... though some would argue that they are well on their way, I'm not so sure (at least in the eyes of the T&H owners).
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That Harris poll correctly points out one thing: perception lags reality by at least a decade. A LOT of Baby Boomers Hate GM and have never forgiven GM for what they saw in those cars back in the 70s and the 80s (and at times the 90s). Once those generations of cars are completely gone (which may happen sooner than we all think), things may change. More importantly, Honda and Toyota will have to fall off quite a bit for at least 15 years before any real change happens in perceptions. The worst part is that Hyundai and Ford may end up being the biggest beneficiaries of all this in the medium to long term. When CR starts listing failures in Honda/Toyota/Nissan products consistently over a number of years, then we know times have changed.

Then again, the question will be moot if Europe implodes and GM is taken down by that comatose market.
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Europe may very well implode, they have very serious problems....
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