J.D. Powers and Associates have released their 3-year findings on the dependability of the 2004 model year line-up of cars and the results might just shock you. Some might even second guess if it is truly possible that American manufacturers could ever close on the 12-reign of Lexus as the most dependable auto make? While Lexus is truly on top again this year they are sharing the podium with a most unlikely partner: Buick.
Buick’s rise to the top of the dependability ratings is not surprising because of their cars, as much as for the fact that they had been long rumored to be going the way of the Oldsmobile (extinct). Such ratings should beÂ a shot in the arm for the long time GM product, but the reality is that nearly all the cars of that model year have gone the way of the Skylark (no longer in production). To take advantage of their latest rating Buick will need to find a means to correlate their old cars dependability with the new car designs.
Other American cars that saw impressive results in their dependability ratings were Mercury, Cadillac and Lincoln. Their scores matched them very favorably with Toyota, Honda and Subura, which means that after 30 years the domestic car manufacturers have finally closed the quality gap with the Japanese. That news could not have come at a better time for the American car manufacturers who have been slipping in sales against stiffer foreign competition.
And not to leave out the loser of the dependability survey, Land Roverhas achieved the lowest ranking by J.D. Powers. However, even Land Rover managed a 40 point improvement compared to last years rating, but that still could not keep them from being what some have called the “perennial cellar dweller” spot.
While J.D. Powers and Associates dependability ratings are obviously not the basis for every new buyers car choice, it will have an impact in both the sales and marketing of manufacturers who have seen an improvement. I just wonder if Land Rover will try to use their 40 point improvement in their ads (doubtful) or how their continued lapse in quality will affect the sale of the company by Ford. Either way J.D. Powers has afforded you the car buyer yet one more tool in your arsenal when doing your own car research and shopping.