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Old 04-10-2006, 10:04 AM   #16
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Re: "American" vs. "Import"

With globalisation I don't think anything will come from anywhere anymore.

You'll have a car deigned in europe, built in asia, marketed in america and iconed in australia.....and what's wrong with that, it will be the most efficiently built and used car ever.
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Old 04-10-2006, 05:05 PM   #17
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Re: "American" vs. "Import"

Quote:
Originally Posted by DinanM3_S2
JD Power dependability survey
Ah, thanks. I wonder why the JD and CR charts differ so much.
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Old 04-10-2006, 06:12 PM   #18
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Re: "American" vs. "Import"

Those charts aren't the be-all-end-all of automotive reliability; they're just good guidelines. One important thing to note, though, is that the Japanese brands are at the very top of both.

Going back to the "country of origin" debate, it's important to note that although a brand's country of origin may not have anything to do with where their cars (or the parts that go in them) are actually produced, it's still up to the brand to monitor the quality of the parts being used in their vehicles, decide who makes/assembles those parts, and create a suitable and productive working environment in their factories. One rule of any company is that the attitude of the employees towards the job will always reflect that of the higher-ups. The management in the Japanese companies is simply more disclipined and professional than that of the American or European companies, and that's why their cars end up being built so much better.
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Old 04-10-2006, 08:24 PM   #19
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Re: "American" vs. "Import"

Quote:
Originally Posted by kman10587
Those charts aren't the be-all-end-all of automotive reliability; they're just good guidelines. One important thing to note, though, is that the Japanese brands are at the very top of both.

The management in the Japanese companies is simply more disclipined and professional than that of the American or European companies, and that's why their cars end up being built so much better.
This is exactly what I was talking about. Yes, a Japanese company (Lexus) tops the JD Powers survey, but the only other ones that rank above par are Toyota, Honda/Acura, and Infiniti. Chevy, Ford, and Chrysler dominate the likes of Subaru, Nissan (who did horribly for how they should have done), and Mitsubishi. Your kind of thinking is horribly flawed. American cars, while not quite as reliable as Honda and Toyota, are generally very reliable cars in today's market. Just because Nissan comes from the same country as Honda doesn't mean that their cars are anything alike.

To say that Japanese companies are better disciplined and more professional is one of the most misinformed things I have ever heard. Yet again, I will point my finger at Mitsubishi, who is losing money very quickly and is quite probably headed towards bankruptcy. Overgeneralization absolutely kills your arguements. While I suppose you could say that Toyota/Lexus is "professional and disciplined" (or completely soulless) please stop saying that ALL Japanese cars are good cars, because they arn't. Subaru, Mitsu, and Nissan are all riding on the coattails of companies that have become of Japan's auto industry.

The problem with the CS and JD reliability surveys lies in peoples expectations of the cars they buy. People have grown not to expect as much from a Mercury or Buick, so they are less likely to take them in to fix smaller things like a visor light not working etc. People expect alot from brands like Mercedes-Benz and Audi, so they will take cars in to fix almost everything that goes wrong. There is a massive difference in equipment in a modern luxury car compared to a regular car that isn't reflected well by these surveys. Compare the standard features and options in a Toyota Yaris to a BMW 5-Series. Things like the traction control and IDrive in a 5-Series are much newer technology then anything in the Yaris, and thus are more likely to go wrong. I have endless respect for Lexus' ability to be at the top despite its features list, but one shouldn't look down on Mercedes and Audi as much as JD Powers shows. Another problem can be seen in that the JD Powers survey only lists problems per 100 vehicles, but not the cost of the problem. For all we know, every single Lexus engine block could be snapping in half, but because they don't have lots of little electronic problems they might rank better then Land Rover who could have flawless engines, but might have lots of little inexpensive problems (disclaimer, I'm not saying this example is necessarily true). Finally, labeling reliability by company presents another problem in that not all of a company's cars will be equally reliable. Many of BMW's reliability problems stem from the IDrive systems in the 5, 6, and 7-Series. I would be willing to bet that if you only looked at the 3-Series (without IDrive), it would rank closer the average of Infiniti.
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Old 04-10-2006, 09:20 PM   #20
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Re: "American" vs. "Import"

All that the JD Power chart shows me is that no matter what car you own, on average, you're going to have a problem and it's unknown whether the problem'll be major or minor.


Even if you own a Land Rover or Kia you're only going to have 1 or 2 more problems than the owner of a Lexus.


Seems like a waste of time and easier to just conclude that every car today is reliable and that judging cars on reliability is a waste of time.
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Old 04-10-2006, 09:40 PM   #21
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Re: "American" vs. "Import"

am i the only one that finds that industry average there rather pointless?
i mean, shouldn't there be something more like a standard acceptible figure instead of using an average as a judge? i mean, in an ideal world, no fault is acceptible so isn't using an average as a sort of yardstick a bit well, crap?
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Old 04-10-2006, 10:05 PM   #22
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Re: "American" vs. "Import"

Cars today are much better than they have ever been and in general you can expect to buy any 2006 model, drive it with only scheduled maintence and expect to not have any major problems for at least a few years. However some makes and models will suffer from fewer problems over time and that sort of information is of great use to people that don't want to have to think about their cars at all.

Also, you have to remember that much of the industry averages and comparisons are for the manufacturers, to be used as marketing tools.

As for the zero tolerance to defects rule, well, as stated in an ideal world that would be great. But given the shear amount of parts and complexity in your average modern car, something is bound to go wrong. After that, it's just about how long and how much to fix it and who's paying.
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Old 04-11-2006, 01:22 AM   #23
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Re: "American" vs. "Import"

Quote:
Originally Posted by DinanM3_S2
This is exactly what I was talking about. Yes, a Japanese company (Lexus) tops the JD Powers survey, but the only other ones that rank above par are Toyota, Honda/Acura, and Infiniti. Chevy, Ford, and Chrysler dominate the likes of Subaru, Nissan (who did horribly for how they should have done), and Mitsubishi. Your kind of thinking is horribly flawed. American cars, while not quite as reliable as Honda and Toyota, are generally very reliable cars in today's market. Just because Nissan comes from the same country as Honda doesn't mean that their cars are anything alike.

To say that Japanese companies are better disciplined and more professional is one of the most misinformed things I have ever heard. Yet again, I will point my finger at Mitsubishi, who is losing money very quickly and is quite probably headed towards bankruptcy. Overgeneralization absolutely kills your arguements. While I suppose you could say that Toyota/Lexus is "professional and disciplined" (or completely soulless) please stop saying that ALL Japanese cars are good cars, because they arn't. Subaru, Mitsu, and Nissan are all riding on the coattails of companies that have become of Japan's auto industry.

The problem with the CS and JD reliability surveys lies in peoples expectations of the cars they buy. People have grown not to expect as much from a Mercury or Buick, so they are less likely to take them in to fix smaller things like a visor light not working etc. People expect alot from brands like Mercedes-Benz and Audi, so they will take cars in to fix almost everything that goes wrong. There is a massive difference in equipment in a modern luxury car compared to a regular car that isn't reflected well by these surveys. Compare the standard features and options in a Toyota Yaris to a BMW 5-Series. Things like the traction control and IDrive in a 5-Series are much newer technology then anything in the Yaris, and thus are more likely to go wrong. I have endless respect for Lexus' ability to be at the top despite its features list, but one shouldn't look down on Mercedes and Audi as much as JD Powers shows. Another problem can be seen in that the JD Powers survey only lists problems per 100 vehicles, but not the cost of the problem. For all we know, every single Lexus engine block could be snapping in half, but because they don't have lots of little electronic problems they might rank better then Land Rover who could have flawless engines, but might have lots of little inexpensive problems (disclaimer, I'm not saying this example is necessarily true). Finally, labeling reliability by company presents another problem in that not all of a company's cars will be equally reliable. Many of BMW's reliability problems stem from the IDrive systems in the 5, 6, and 7-Series. I would be willing to bet that if you only looked at the 3-Series (without IDrive), it would rank closer the average of Infiniti.
You're absolutely right that I am making some broad generalizations here. I have no defense or justification for this, and shamelessly admit that I am a generalizing, stereotypical bastard when it comes to cars. That said, I'm not blind to obvious facts. No, not all Japanese cars are reliable. I realize that they are not the only country that makes good cars, and that they also have their fair share of problem vehicles. Mitsubishi is a joke, Nissan is not what it used to be, and Subarus are inherently less reliable because of the stress AWD puts on the vehicle. I do realize that Japan is not perfect.

However, you know as well as I do that car buying is an emotional experience. I love Japan, and I love the vehicles that they produce. You obviously love European engineering. I can tell by the way you talk about the brands that use it - BMW, Porsche, Volvo, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Ferrari, just to name a few. Just understand, that's the exact same way I feel about Subaru, Toyota, Mazda, Nissan, Honda, Mitsubishi, even Suzuki. No amount of factual data will make you, in your heart, LOVE Japanese cars more than European cars, and the reverse is true for me. Love can't always be justified and supported with facts; sometimes, you just feel it.

So, excuse me if I'm more than a little biased towards Japan in my posts.
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Old 04-11-2006, 01:34 AM   #24
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Re: "American" vs. "Import"

A couple of things on what you said DinanM3. The CR chart I listed was problems per 100 vehicles after *five years.* So it differs slightly from the JD Power chart. Also the CR chart does not just list an entire company's reliability without also listing all of it's model's reliability too. I will try to scan the CR charts but the one I was talking about had a bar for each manufacturer that represented all of it's models. Then it had an average model mark within each company's bar, and then an industry average. So it's a bit more informative than the JD Power one.

While you're right that the severity and cost of the problem are not accounted for in these surveys, CR does have a section that lists reliablity for every model by year (98-05) with different areas like "engine," "fuel," "transmission," "exhuast" and so on. So it does distinguish between the different areas of reliability or each model. If Toyotas engines were snapping in half as you were saying rather than a simple exhaust problem that would show up on the chart. When you look through all the models you are struck by something; when you get to Toyota, Honda, etc it's almost completely red (full red circle is the best, then half red, then white, then half black, then full black). When you get to, say, Mercedes more than half of all circles are in the black or white. So it gives you a very accurate picture of all manufacturer's models. And the charts come from a survey of over 1 million vehicles done by CR. Btw, the '05 5 Series does score lower than the 3 Series in the Electrical category like you were saying with the IDrive.

That is a good point that people may expect more of a certain manufacturer and thus complain more. This may scew the results. But I don't think the point about technical and luxury features scewing the results is a good point. It doesn't matter why something went wrong. If there is something that goes wrong with a new 5-series IDrive system, then something went wrong with it. The car is in fact less reliable no matter why it is. And just because a car has more technical features should not mean it should be less reliable. People pay for these extra features and expect them to work. If they don't then it is the company's failing and it should reflect on the company.

I also have to say that I don't think Mitsu, Nissan, and Subaru stay in business because of the reliablility stereotype of "asian" cars. These three companies just happen to make fast cars unllike Honda, Acura, Toyota (no more Supra), etc. I think people buy them because they want to go fast and I think people buy Hondas, Toyotas, etc because they want an all around good, reliable, cheap car; totally different motivations. Although it doesn't excuse their comparable unreliabilty, it it does explain it.

EDIT: Here's what the charts look like, on the lower right.
http://aolsvc.aol.consumerreports.or...ure/subscribe/
http://216.35.74.202/carfax/

And here's some reliability info from CR.
http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/c...6/overview.htm
http://autos.yahoo.com/consumerrepor...s_hold_up.html
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Old 04-11-2006, 02:16 AM   #25
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Re: "American" vs. "Import"

Quote:
Originally Posted by kman10587
Mitsubishi is a joke, Nissan is not what it used to be, and Subarus are inherently less reliable because of the stress AWD puts on the vehicle.
Mitsu is in financial trouble but that doesn't necessarily have anything to do with what kind of cars they produce. Everyone gives Mitsubishis crap but the fact is they do one thing better than possibly any other company: Make the best bang for the buck performance cars in the world. Every review I've ever read: Edmunds, Road and Track, Sport Compact Car, etc. praises the Evo like no other. It was even SCC's Car of the Year last year. And it or an Eclipse usually dominates every year at the Ultimate Street Car Challenge in every area of speed or performance. They are innovators in rallying and their AWD system and steering is arguably the best in the world (I can give sources if you want). They also make engines (the 4g63 mostly) that may be the best in the world for producing power; The production engine with the highest hp per liter is the 4g63 in the Evo FQ400 produced in the UK, the record for the fastest 4-cyl was recently broken by Brent Rau in his 4g63 powered Talon with a 6.97 @ 198.2 mph pass, all without nitrous http://www.racingflix.com/getvideo.asp?v=1360 http://www.racingflix.com/forum/foru...?TID=2396&PN=1 , and the second fastest AWD car in the world is a Talon (same as Eclipse) which is driven, tuned, etc all by one guy who is competing against big name-backed Skylines in Japan, and he will most likely beat the record this year http://shepracing.com/ . So I think Mitsu sucks big time at managing their company and making very reliable cars, but is very good at making performance cars.

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Old 04-11-2006, 05:21 AM   #26
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Re: "American" vs. "Import"

Must... resist...crankwalk...joke








Ah nuts, how'd that get up there...


Speaking of which though, these guys have an interesting write up on the causes of crankwalk in the 4G motor.


Anyway, on topic...uh, yeah, sometimes we buy with our hearts instead of our heads. We can look at the facts and see that such and such model is made from X% parts from here or there then assembled elsewhere but to the guy in southern Montana it's Dodge truck like his dad had. The 350Z is a road going slice of the JGTC to a 17 year old kid in California despite the fact it mostly designed at the US branch. Etc and so on...I guess that was on topic.
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Old 04-11-2006, 12:43 PM   #27
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Re: "American" vs. "Import"

Ooo ooo, I can make fun of DSMs too-








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Old 04-11-2006, 02:31 PM   #28
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Re: "American" vs. "Import"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nayr747
So I think Mitsu sucks big time at managing their company and making very reliable cars, but is very good at making performance cars.
Can't disagree with that. DSMs are great bang-for-buck when they're running (no crankwalk jokes from me, you guys have it covered), and I've driven my friend's Evo 8 a few times; it was really something (of course, the clutch died at 7,000 miles, and the owner never launched it once). The funny thing about Mitsubishi is, like you said, poor management, and they're an exception to the rule of Japanese companies being well-managed. They're unpopular in Japan due to a string of recalls that really tarnished their reliability record; I'm not sure how well they're doing here, though to be fair, the Lancer and Eclipse have sold pretty well over the last few years.
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Old 04-11-2006, 07:32 PM   #29
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Re: "American" vs. "Import"

LMAO, I've never seen those things. But seriously the numbers of crankwalk victims are blown way out of proportion. Not only does it only happen to a small percentage of 4g63's, it also only happens to 7 bolt '95-98ish motors. And it can happen to any motor, but not usually in the numbers seen on 7 bolts. Miatas get it too though.

Never heard the cheap interior one. My interior seems pretty nice to me. Nothing special compared to what comes in cars today though. But its got leather, infinity stereo, power seat, power sunroof, etc. A couple of my brother's friends (who hate Mitsu, they're Honda lovers) have actually commented on how nice my interior is.

And there was a ball joint recall where the boot may have been put on incorrectly at the factory allowing water/crap to get to the joint and cause it to fail. I don't know the numbers that were affected. All you have to do is take it into a dealer to get it inspected and replaced for free if it's defective. Or it's pretty simple to just look at it yourself when you doing an oil change. Mitsu isn't an anomoly for having a recall though. My mom's '98 Jeep Cherokee and new Volvo had their share too.
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Old 04-11-2006, 07:52 PM   #30
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Re: "American" vs. "Import"

Mitsubishis are rubbish, trust me, there's enough of them back in my home country and I found some disturbing facts about them from working for Inland Revenue (They had a provision in thier books that 65% of thier cars would come back for warranty work within 12 months costing on average $1000 NZD which back in 1989 was about the equivalent of US$1200 today with inflation and exchange rate fluctuations etc).

Diamantes cook thier transmissions with relative ease, as do Automatic Galants and most of thier AWD models make easy work of blowing gearboxes. Don't even get me started on the rusty-roof syndrome or the ball-joint recall. Even Alfa Romeo soundly kick Mitsubishis ass for producing reliable motoring and frankly, that shows just how unfunny the joke that is Mitsi really is.
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