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January 31, 2006

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Not to be critical (probably just bitter because I did not win the drawing) but the US name plates have proven again to be at least as reliable as their Asian, and specifically Japanese counterparts. This type of mis-information is not helping the American nameplates cause.

http://money.cnn.com/2006/01/23/Autos/american_cars/index.htm?cnn=yes

Steve --

The real issue is when you get down to models. For instance, Subaru is at the bottom when you look at reliability. But when you look at the "small SUV class", the Forester is among the tops. Hence, we bought a Forester. Likewise with our Toyota Corolla.

Besides, my personal experience does not speak well for American made cars. My first two cars were Buicks (rated high on the link you provided) and they were in the shop an awful lot. My last two cars were a Honda and a Nissan -- they weren't in the shop much at all -- and before that we had a Toyota (no problems). Now, which cars do you think I'm going to consider when I look to plunk down $20,000 or more for a new one?

Finally, the fact is that preception is reality -- that's the heart of marketing. If people think something, it alters the way they act, whether or not it's actually true. So if they think foreign cars are better, they will buy accordingly.

What do you think the issue is? What can be done to fix it? This is a hot topic in Michigan (my state) as you can imagine and I'm interested in any sort of solution anyone can come up with.

There is a stigma attached to American cars. It is unfortunate. My wife is dead set against owning an American car for "reliability issues". When I press her on it, and show her the article, then it changes to "I do not like their interior."

While it appears that she is just trying to come up with a reason, I can buy this arguement. My opinion is that the interior of American cars is not up to snuff when compared to cars from other places.

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