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Conventional Wisdom and the Gravitas of American Car Manufacturing

by George on June 8, 2010

Conventional wisdom is not immutable; it can – and does – evolve.  In the case of the automotive world, the notion of Japanese auto manufacturing infallibility has finally been laid to rest … or so you would hope.  Unfortunately, some folks will continue to eschew American autos in favor of imports simply based on a conventional wisdom that is sorely out of date.

In fact, according to’s 2009 Vehicle Dependability Study Results, the most dependable car make is Buick, a product of General Motors.  Lincoln and Mercury also scored very high; other Ford and General Motors nameplates scored “better than most” in this survey.  In the 2010 version of this study the Buick was still the top mid-sized brand with the Mercury Milan coming in second – both ahead of the third-place Honda Accord.

What is remarkable is that every category except compact or mid-size “Premium Sporty Car” niches (dominated by Mercedes Benz and BMW), an American manufacturer is present.  In 5 of the 6 non-“premium sporty” car categories, an American car is the top ranked model.  Not too shabby.

The salient point is that Ford, GM, and Chrysler have evolved in terms of features, refinement, and reliability.  They are better than they have ever been – and it’s about time.  They clearly have some market-leading products worthy of consideration and it behooves anyone in the market for a new car to include them.

Conventional wisdom is catching up to this development; the informed consumer is already aware of it.

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