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Old 15th August 2007, 23:38   #31
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Originally Posted by rahul_intlad View Post
Just picked this up:
After consultation with JD Power,Toyota attributes most of the customer dissatisfaction to unwanted noise inside the car,now every car that rolls of the production line would have specially trained personnel to rigourously test for rattles and squeaks.

Maruti needs that JD Power consultation more than Toyota.
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Old 16th August 2007, 03:25   #32
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Originally Posted by Mayavi View Post

Toyota copied American cars of the 60's, made small cars in the 70's, made them reliable in the 80's and won the American market by the 90's. They know what the market wants and they give it to them at an affordable price. Now it is the worlds largest car maker. This feat is not possible based on marketing strategy alone. Marketing can only do so much, you need to have a good product.
70's Oil crisis anyone?
The only reason Japanese cars sold in the 70's and 80's was because they were cheaper to buy and cheaper to run. Then they worked on that further and also started selling luxury vehicles in America.
If you go by the current prices and fuel economy of recent American cars, it looks like they have learnt their lesson. Also keep in mind that they also receive decent safety ratings as well. As far as long term reliability is concerned, only time can tell. But I must say that American cars these days are right up there with the Japanese ones. Blame that on technology sharing, better R&D, reducing market share etc.
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Old 16th August 2007, 05:12   #33
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Originally Posted by sujaylahiri View Post
70's Oil crisis anyone?
The only reason Japanese cars sold in the 70's and 80's was because they were cheaper to buy and cheaper to run.
So what exactly were the big three doing when Japanese were flooding the market with small cars? Americans couldn't make a decent small car that can compete with Japanese imports and they lost and that is the bottom line. Then there is the quality and reliability issue which you cannot blame on the Oil crisis. Sit in a Civic/Corolla and then sit in a Chevy cobalt and you will know what I am talking about.
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Old 16th August 2007, 06:26   #34
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Ok this debate has gone on long enough.

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Originally Posted by sujaylahiri View Post
But I must say that American cars these days are right up there with the Japanese ones. Blame that on technology sharing, better R&D, reducing market share etc.
Have you ever had the misfortune of driving a 2006 Pontiac G5 my friend? I have. I have also ridden in a 2006 Scion tC which costs almost the same amount of money. And I most certainly do NOT agree with your above statement.


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Originally Posted by sujaylahiri View Post
The only reason Japanese cars sold in the 70's and 80's was because they were cheaper to buy and cheaper to run.
Not entirely true. The Japanese cars, even then, had quite a reputation for being strong, solid and dependable, unlike the lemons that GM and Ford hand out to this day (Ford Pinto/Chevy Vega/AMC Gremlin anyone?).

Lest I be accused of "walking on water", here's unequivocal, absolute and substantiated evidence to what I am saying.

**Read ahead at risk of Headache**

Doron Levin writes in his book on Lee Iacocca:

"Reports of high quality in Japanese cars were initially met with incredulity and contempt in Detroit"

A sarcastic remark from Car Life magazine in 1968:

"The tactics the Japanese are using, too, are unmerciful: They are building quality automobiles, in styles and colors people want, at a price any car buyer can afford to pay"

Notice how they say producing quality cars is "unmerciful" on the Big Three. You couldnt slap the Big Three harder than that if you wanted to!

A reviewer in Motor Trend said, in 1972:

" I havent the slightest idea how many Japanese cars are landing on our shores each month, but I do know most of them are well built and the quality is exceedingly good."

Don't you guys think that Japan's automakers (all of them put together back then had an R&D budget less than just ONE of Ford's many engineering centers) deserve a little respect and appreciation? They managed to not only innovate, but also MAKE cars of good quality and reliability.

Honda invented the CVCC lean-burn engine, and Mazda made the rotary engine available to millions of people in a cheap, efficient and relatively reliable package. Toyota gave us the bread toaster of cars, the "commuter vehicle" as Devarshi terms it. Subaru gave us AWD in small cars. Nissan gave us the Z car. Isnt it amazing that one cannot recall a SINGLE american car which could be called innovative, cheap, delightful and reliable at the same time?

Another major reason for Japan Inc.'s success was their ability to meet emissions norms of the early 70's while Detroit was busy lobbying to extend deadlines, and appearing to provide a solution in the form of the electric car rather than actually doing something with their engines. As a result, they had to take drastic measures by running their huge V8's so lean, that they could no longer be called, ahem, "muscle". "Trans Fat", not Trans Am, is probably a more accurate term.

Case in point: Who wanted to buy a 350 ci V8 Corvette putting out a measly 160 hp, when you could just as well buy a lighter, more fuel efficient 240Z that went almost as fast, sipped fuel at a much lower rate and didnt shake itself to death in roughly 50,000 miles?

Toyota "gets it". They may make small mistakes here and there. But they are here to stay. Nothing and nobody can change this belief of mine.

Lets see what the well-seasoned professionals of the North American Auto Industry have to say about this.

(isnt it obvious I have too much time on my hands?)

Last edited by ananthkamath : 16th August 2007 at 06:42.
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Old 16th August 2007, 07:05   #35
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Default Japan Inc trounces again.

Most Dependable Vehicles - MSN Autos

Don't see no Skoda here in this list.
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Old 16th August 2007, 09:34   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ananthkamath View Post
Have you ever had the misfortune of driving a 2006 Pontiac G5 my friend? I have. I have also ridden in a 2006 Scion tC which costs almost the same amount of money. And I most certainly do NOT agree with your above statement.
What you write is anecdotal evidence only (like some others in the thread also). If we are going for anecdotal evidence, then I have driven the Pontiac Grand Am for a month - I just loved the car. I have driven a
Mazda for many years. Have also driven a Corolla for a few months.
Occasionally also driven Fords. I found the American cars to be as good as
the Japanese ones.

Many American & Japanese cars share a lot of technology. In the late
90's, the Corolla had a lot of stuff (including engine, I think) common with
a Plymouth - produced in the same factory. If the Japanese companies
thought they were far ahead in quality, why would they let the American
car companies share engines and other parts & lose this advantage?

I 100% agree that the Japanese companies turned the US car market
on it's head - and they did this with superior quality & various other
manufacturing innovations. I think J-I-T (just in time inventory) was a
Japanese Automobile Industry innovation which cut costs considerably
for them. They first changed the economy car market & then to a lesser extent, the premium market. I remember back when the Infiniti, Acura & Lexus were first introduced even the European companies (BMW,
Mercedes etc) were very shocked. I remember reading a comment from a
German Auto Engineer that they don't have the capacity to produce a luxury car at the same price which the Japanese were selling it for i.e. even if they sold it for no profit, hey won't be able to match the Japanese
prices for the same quality.

About Mazda & the Wenkel Rotary Engine I think they had discontinued it
many years back. Currently, Ford also owns a considerable stake in Mazda and I think Mazda started their work again on the Wenkel Engine after the
cash infusion from Ford.
My Mazda dealer was also a GM dealer. When I went to him for an oil change, I used to get the GM Lube Express (or whatever it was called) on
my Mazda.

Currently, I think the quality gap between Japanese & American car
industry isn't much. It maybe worth the small premium Honda & Toyota
charge on their cars in the USA, but it mostly isn't worth the huge
premium Honda & Toyota charge in India.

I do 100% agree with you on the fact that the Japanese companies
are the leaders & they will stay so for a long time.
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Old 16th August 2007, 09:38   #37
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Originally Posted by Gurkha View Post
Most Dependable Vehicles - MSN Autos

Don't see no Skoda here in this list.
I don't think Skoda is even known in the US. I had never heard of
a brand called Skoda in the US.

Skoda was a East European car company with a terrible rep in Europe.
Then Volkswagon bought the company & improved quality. Their
marketing slogan in Europe used to be something like "The new Skoda is
so good that you won't believe it's Skoda".
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Old 16th August 2007, 09:49   #38
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The american lobby has tried hard to put spokes into the entire toyota mechanism. They have tried it by releasing news articles on saying how much the toyota prius actually releases more CO2 than the regular americna cars because they are imported to the US. A fact they dont add is that the fct that it cannot be manufactured in the US is because of the solid lobbying to prevent the mfg and import of toyota hybrid vehicles.
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Old 16th August 2007, 19:28   #39
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Originally Posted by carboy View Post
What you write is anecdotal evidence only (like some others in the thread also).

What you failed to note is the rest of what I've written, which most certainly is NOT anecdotal evidence. That remark on the G5 was just a tongue-in-cheek comment on the below-par refinement of that car vs. the tC.

If you dont believe me, read the reviews of these modern day American cars in Motor Trend, Automobile, Car & Driver, Road & Track, Autoweek etc. None of them seem to think very highly of the American cars. Or, alternatively, check out websites such as fordlemon.com, myfordlemon.com, gmlemoncars.com, general-motors-lemon.com, chrysler-lemon.com and thousands more. Even German car owners have such websites dedicated to their misery, but not a SINGLE japanese brand has such a sizable presence on the internet as these "lemon" websites.

Yeah, people are happy with their Grand Prix and what not, but the fact of the matter is Toyota today outsells GM, Ford and others by a wide, wide margin. I am sure, those who buy American do so because of the excellent deals that they are giving them just to sell the cars. Now if this is not marketing gimmics, what is?


And furthermore, you completely missed my point about Mazda and the Rotary. The point I was trying to make is, they didnt invent it, but they put enough engineering into it to make it available in a cheap and reliable package.

Last edited by ananthkamath : 16th August 2007 at 19:35.
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Old 16th August 2007, 20:54   #40
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Originally Posted by ananthkamath View Post
And furthermore, you completely missed my point about Mazda and the Rotary. The point I was trying to make is, they didnt invent it, but they put enough engineering into it to make it available in a cheap and reliable package.
Well, Ford put a lot of engineering into the Internal Combustion Engine to
make it available much before any of the other car company came into
the picture.
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Old 16th August 2007, 21:45   #41
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Originally Posted by carboy View Post
Well, Ford put a lot of engineering into the Internal Combustion Engine to
make it available much before any of the other car company came into
the picture.
errr... wasn't it Benz? Granted ford made them cheap and available to common man but thats because of Henry Fords invention of production line.
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Old 16th August 2007, 21:53   #42
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Originally Posted by carboy View Post
Currently, I think the quality gap between Japanese & American car
industry isn't much. It maybe worth the small premium Honda & Toyota
charge on their cars in the USA, but it mostly isn't worth the huge
premium Honda & Toyota charge in India.
True, Japanese companies are charging a premium on their cars sold in India but thats because Indian market is not yet important for them.

Other than quality, car design also plays an important role in buying decision. I wouldn't want to be caught dead in any Buick with the exception of Lucerne and if I drive a Pontiac Sunfire, I make sure that no girl sees me.
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Old 17th August 2007, 13:12   #43
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If you dont believe me, read the reviews of these modern day American cars in Motor Trend, Automobile, Car & Driver, Road & Track, Autoweek etc. None of them seem to think very highly of the American cars. Or, alternatively, check out websites such as fordlemon.com, myfordlemon.com, gmlemoncars.com, general-motors-lemon.com, chrysler-lemon.com and thousands more. Even German car owners have such websites dedicated to their misery, but not a SINGLE japanese brand has such a sizable presence on the internet as these "lemon" websites.

Also read ConsumerReports, which hardly recommends very few GM/Ford cars. Fortune has recently ranked Toyota as the 3rd most admired `American' company , and the 2nd most admired company in the world. Read that again `American' com[pany. As most management journals and auto mags and a reputed MIT study `The Machine that Changed the World' will tell you, Japanese cars sell more not only because they are cheaper, but they are better built, more fuel efficient, and last a lot longer. What else can you require in any product, forget cars. Non-US brand cars now have close to 50% share of US Market. The US industry only cribs about unfair competition and have been caught with their pants down (similarity with Bajaj of the early 1990s or the present furore about foreign retail players). Caught out with shoddy products (remember Nader `Unsafe at any speeds' about GM) they got handouts from the Govt. and lobbied for voluntary restraints on Japanese imports.

Most if all customers are not fools to buy out of patriotism anymore. They vote with their wallets.
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Old 17th August 2007, 16:16   #44
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The first time Toyota sales hit 2 million+ units was also the time they had more recalls than sales. This was in 2005. In 2006 toyota reduced the number of recalls by 2/3rd's but Ford and GM were ahead with both having less than 70%.

Cameron Johnson's Blog: Automotive

KickingTires: Auto Recalls Plunge in 2006

The Most Recalled Cars 2006

Auto Makers' Total Recalls



1. Ford sweeps J.D. power Study in 2007 for Quality with highest number of awards
J.D Power: Ford Is a Winner - AutoObserver

2. You have heard of Lexus brandname for quality, when was the last time you heard of Buick? 3 year old Buicks perform as well as Lexus. This breaks the myth that big three are not dependable. Also of interest is the fact that both Cadillac and Mercury ranked 3rd and 4th ahead of Honda at 5th. And Honda owners would find it hard to believe that Lincoln actually toppled Acura by 4 spots. Chrysler is still in the pits though.

Autoblog
J.D Power: Ford Is a Winner - AutoObserver


3. Are lexus customers happy? Damn true, they are. But are they the most satisfied customers? Nope. Jaguar Buick and Cadillac (All under the big three Banner) topple Lexus for their respective places.

The domestic brands performed well in the study, with nine slotting in above the industry average. Those brands included Chevrolet, Hummer, GMC, Pontiac, Lincoln, Saturn and Mercury. Toyota ranked below the industry average, as did Chrysler and Ford.

Jaguar Tops 2007 J.D. Power Customer Service Index Study


4. I have heard on many occasions that Ford Mustang lacks in Quality.

http://www.prdomain.com/companies/F/...0781444244.htm

5. Lincoln just a slot behind lexus. Acura not even in top 10.

MKX ranks high on quality



Even after posting all these articles I will say that Toyota makes excellent commuter cars. Ford GM and chrysler have had their lean period. That's about it. But to dismiss the big three right away?? I dont think so.

Last edited by devarshi84 : 17th August 2007 at 16:18. Reason: additional information.
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Old 17th August 2007, 16:35   #45
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Don't see no Skoda here in this list.
Skoda is not sold in the US. Its only volkswagen and audi.

Well simply put the americans still have a long way to go if they are to build cars as good as the japanese. There's always something or the other that sticks out sorely... be it a Buick or Mercury or Lincoln or Cadillac or a Chrysler.

I'm using a 6 month old rented Chrysler Sebring right now. While the car is awesome to drive, there's rattling all over the place. Before this had an impala which felt like a boat and had the typical GM issues... hard steering wheel and hard brakes. Was a pain to drive.
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