After the results of all the tests conducted by the Consumer Reports Magazine were tallied the overall opinion is, a Japanese vehicle is the best for the American public. Apparently this is the second time that Japan’s automakers have shut out the domestic and European alternatives. In conducting these tests they rely on their own findings, car ownership reports, reliability and government safety rankings.
This is no small survey by any means, after collecting data from its subscriber base, a total of some 1.3 million vehicles were polled giving these results. The top ten are;
- Honda Accord
- Honda Fit
- Honda Civic
- Toyota RAV 4
- Toyota Sienna
- Toyota Highlander
- Toyota Prius
- Infiniti M35
- Infiniti G35
- Maxda MX-5 Miata
As far as the most satisfying vehicle the Toyota Prius took top spot again with its customer base saying that it would buy the same model again but the Chevrolet Corvette did come in second. The Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan did make the most “impressive list” but what does this all mean in the big picture. Are the American public in love with the Asian made vehicles, is the quality that much better or is it the styling in general. Manufacturing standards are very close, safety is nearly the same on whatever vehicle you drive so it must be the styling. Or is it the memories of earlier American made vehicles that suffered with quality issues that are still etched in the current buyers mind.
Japanese, Korean and European vehicles are very safe in design, many would say bland but is this the safe way of guaranteeing a sale. No quirky design issues that may reduce your chance of a resale at a later date.
As we can see at present all of the main American manufacturers, that is GM, Ford and DaimlerChrysler are reducing output of vehicles because of the slump in sales and the reduction of sales as fleet vehicles. This leads to a drop in overall percentage points whereas the likes of Toyota and Honda are enjoying record sales during a relatively cool period of selling vehicles.
The one bright star for the domestics is General Motors who has against all odds pull out a 3.7% gain in sales for the month of February proving that the turn-around is still on solid ground but it will need a continual effort all around to make the plan work. As new vehicles come to market it is even more important that the right advertising and pricing is set together with increased fuel efficiency to make that vehicle stand out in the crowd.
The unfortunate thing is publications such as the Consumer Reports will continue to influence people when it comes to the crunch, especially those who are indecisive in the first place.