Detroit’s Quality Improvement Myth (TM)(GM)(F)(HMC)

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The press  gave extensive coverage to the fact that GM’s (GM) Buick division tied Toyota’s (TM) Lexus group in the latest JD Power 2007 Vehicle Dependability Survey. The next spot on the list went to Cadillac which was followed by Ford’s (F) Mercury division.

Of the fourteen cars that were above the industry average, six were made by nameplates that belong to Ford and GM and six went to Japanese companies. BMW and Mercedes rounded out the list.

But, what about the 23 brands that were below the industry average. Twelve were from the Big Three and only five were from Japanese companies  But, Toyota and Honda (HMC) had no brands on the list. All of the poorly rated cars from companies based there were from second tier companies: Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Suzuki, and Mitsubishi.

As long as Detroit dominates the bottom of a list of this kind, it does matter how well it does at the top. Products from the Motor City companies still have not made the grade.

Douglas A. McIntyre