Originally Posted by adrian1480
they are doing that. the reality is that if foreign brand names were slapped onto some of these cars from Buick, Cadillac, and now Ford...people would be fawning over these cars like they were the Second Coming.
Exactly. Even styling.
No, the technology isn't the problem. The engineering isn't the problem. The design and appeal isn't the problem. The problem is public trust. They sold customers up the river in the 90s BSing with quality to the point where people decided they weren't coming back. People have long memories when it comes to cars because they play such an important part in their lives. My ex will never buy another Ford, for example, because her alternator died during a long road trip 30 minutes after her cellphone battery died. In the middle of nowhere, stranded and afraid to let people who stopped by to help...help. That traumatic memory is attached to FORD. Can an alternator give out on a BMW? Honda? A Benz? A Bentley? Abso-dam-lutely. But they don't have the burden of that bad experience in her mind...that association isn't there...so she'll feel more comfortable buying any of those other brands.
And how many repeat customers did BMW blow with the whole fuel pump fiasco? Many of those customers will never come back. And if BMW had let that kind of quality issue persist for 10 or 15 years, they'd find themselves in the same position The Big 3 are now in. Not because their engineering couldn't improve with the next year's models...but because the trust of their potential buyers would have been dissolved. Because their name would be saddled with those bad experiences...they'd be struggling to get by.
Actually, Honda and the Germans will get a pass when something happens. If Toyotas sludge their engines, and Toyota says it's a user problem, well, they just keep selling "reliable cars." A couple people complain, but no one really cares. If Toyota truck frames rot out in a year, and it takes a LOT of effort to get Toyota to step up and do something about it, Toyota is praised for looking out for their customers, where any domestic manufacturer would be skewered.
Let BMW make crappy plastic radiator tanks and constantly cracking expansion tanks for 3, 5, and 7 series for over a decade and BMW fans say it's "just something you have to watch for." But, let that happen to ONE Ford or GM model ONE year, and by god, "we'll never buy a car from them again, because they are unreliable."
It's not a matter of Ford or GM doing it worse, but a matter of people giving excuses for the other brands for doing the exact same things.
And of course, there are the snobs who equate cost with prestige and status, and woudn't buy a cheaper domestic product because, no matter how good it might be, it's domestic, so it can't be something to desire.
I bought my 740 because I simply like the way they look and drive, but not because it would be more reliable or have better resale, or have a softer dash, or higher quality than a domestic car. It just happened to be what I wanted at the time. I've bought domestic. I've bought japanese, and French, and British, and German. Who makes it is of zero importance to me.