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There are a lot of factors, but I think the US makers need to face up to one other thing that was clearly true. I remember looking at some surveys of cars in the consumer magazines/websites etc. and looked for the top 5 ranked vehicles at various price levels and market niches. There just weren't any American cars near the top in most categories outside of trucks and large SUVs.

When we bought our daughter's car a couple months ago, we wound up with a 2008 Ford Escape though we looked very long at used Saturn Vue's . It was one of the few American vehicles that was rated well and that was selling at a competitive price.

With the majority of dealers, I was shocked to find that just the way they sold cars was still ridiculous. As in, they were reluctant to tell you what they had available, what the actual price was, provide accurate objective information, etc.
The Toyota dealer was pretty straightforward, but Nissan, Hyundai, and GM were ridiculous.
US makers still need to build a truly competitive product (I know it was getting better) and I think the dealership model of distribution needs to be drastically modernized.



Yes, there aren't too many US vehicles ranked highly in some indexes, but there are some in others. Regardless, they do have a long way to go, but part of it is a perception gap from reality issue, (as with quality), that won't go away. Sometimes ratings are high because people buy what they're supposed to and then they excuse the product for problems they might have. My friend has a Scion which has had numerous issues but to him, it still has Toyota quality. And one thing people forget is that GM still sells the most vehicles, Ford is still number two, although that could change this year. And there are plenty of loyal GM and Ford buyers. Apparently, the companies already do sell cars and trucks people want to buy.

As far as dealers go, generally, the domestics do pretty well on the customer service side, (especially Saturn), and local experiences vary significantly. I've heard many horror stories at Toyota dealers due to their arrogance when they were selling well. Sometimes high end luxury brand dealers like Mercedes and BMW can be downright uppity to potential customers.

As for truly competitive U.S. products, there are many, like the Chevy Malibu, Cadillac CTS, Ford Fusion Hybrid, GM's full-size trucks, the new Ford Taurus, Buick Lacroose, Buick Enclave. The key is, people need to go to the dealer and drive them. I would attribute a large part of the Domestic 3's failures to bad P.R. in fighting the anti-Detroit bandwagon, although I know some of this was due to product deficiencies.

Sorry this is so long :-) Hope you're doing well.


This is one survey on customer service from JD Power.


Felix Chesterfield

Will GM's bankruptcy affect a site like this for truck and auto parts ?

Tim Chalk

The way the dealerships operate is definately an issue. I recently tried...and I do Mean..tried to buy a new car, and I was surprised at the way I was treated at the dealerships. They sure don't seem desparate or even slightly worried. My wife and I were met several times by what I can only describe as apathy and arrogance. In the end, we purchased a used car from a friend.
We still laugh, because we were completely prepared to put money down and take on a hefty car payment, but were discouraged by the personnel at the dealerships. We just didn't feel good about investing in their company.



Thanks for the comment. Yes, some dealers are horrible, but it comes down to the individual place and even the individual salesman at times. I've had some pretty good experiences lately mixed in with one bad one. But, you did the right thing, you let your money speak for how you were treated, and I'm sure your friend appreciates the sale of his/her car.

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