Reliability: not good enough!!

I had the pleasure of taking a brand new 9-3 convertible for a spin a few weekends ago. It was a sensational weekend and I couldn’t have enjoyed it more. The car drove like a dream and everything (except the CD player) worked like it was supposed to.

It seems like that’s not always the way for the 9-3, however. From Bloomberg:

Toyota Motor Corp., the world’s second-biggest automaker, dominated Consumer Reports’ annual survey of automobile reliability, accounting for 15 of 31 vehicles rated “most reliable” by the magazine’s readers.

A total of 29 of the cars and trucks given a top score were Japanese brands, Consumer Reports said in a statement today. General Motors Corp., the world’s largest automaker, and Ford Motor Co. had one entry each, while DaimlerChrysler AG’s Chrysler had none. No European automakers made the list…..

….Of the 48 cars and trucks predicted to have the worst reliability, 22 were domestic models and 20 European. The vehicles ranked least reliable include a number of luxury models, such as Audi AG’s A8, BMW’s 7 Series, DaimlerChrysler’s Mercedes-Benz S-Class and E-Class, Ford’s Jaguar S-Type and GM’s Saab 9-3.

I take some amount of caution with surveys like these as they tend to carry some momentum into the results. Toyota could have a horror year for recalls in 2006 and I bet it would still top the survey as people have such a strong positive perception about them.

Saab seems to be consistently ranking in the lower portions of these surveys, however. That’s a statistic that HAS to change. The 9-3 breeds a heck of a lot of loyalty because it’s so very rewarding in real-world driving situations. It’s safe, fun, comfortable and a rewarding performer. GM needs to build on these positives with a positive service relationship as well – the less service you need the better!!

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6 Comments

  1. Toyota dominates the quality list for one reason….
    Kaizen (continuous improvement)!!!

    No fluke.

    If you want to learn why Toyota has the highest quality, follow the link http://www.toyotageorgetown.com/terms.asp

    GM has so much to learn from their japanese competitors. It’s a shame the Japanese learned about quality from the Americans- Deming and Juran. Americans didn’t start to listen to Deming’s quality philosophies until the 80’s.

  2. Well, I guess GM can be proud that SAAB’s being mentioned alongside Audi and BMW for once! 😉

    Seriously though, my wife’s CPO 2001 9-3 has been at the dealer for repairs WAY too many times for mostly minor things (although there was one major one) since we bought it a little less than a year ago. The quality isn’t the best for what I’d expect in a car that cost probably close to US$30K when new.

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