8th Dec 2008, 04:00

"How do you improve on perfect reliability?"

Toyota sells more Camry's than any other car in the U.S., Honda is not far behind. They would not rank so high if they weren't at least a little bit dependable. Ford Fusion does not rank even close to Accord or Camry or even Civic or Corolla in that matter in terms of annual sales. Your argument isn't holding up. American cars for the most part are crap, and annual sales numbers show that many consumers would take my side over yours in this matter of fact.

8th Dec 2008, 11:17

Sorry, all you've done once again is to deftly shift your ground in attempt to use a new argument to avoid admitting the failure of your old one. Regardless of how many Camries or Accords are sold, it doesn't change the fact of personal experience that a 1997 Mercury with 180,000 miles and a 2002 Ford with 100,000 have never needed a repair. The question remains unanswered, if the Ford and Mercury have never needed a repair, where is the incentive to buy a Honda or Toyota? And since you love sales figures, why were Ford's sales down less than any other auto maker in the crash last month, including Honda and Toyota? Could it be that consumers are realizing what J.D. Powers has been saying, that Ford equals Toyota and Honda in reliability and quality?

9th Dec 2008, 10:10

No, you need to understand what those reports are saying. JD Powers gives most domestic automakers high marks for initial quality. Initial meaning what is the overall fit, finish, and driveability of a new car. Most consumers are more concerned about long-term quality, as in how long a car lasts 10-15 years. In that measure, Ford, GM, and Chrysler fail miserably. Thus its easy to read a report such as this and make generalized statements that Ford and GM are better overall than Toyota and Honda. But the standard remains. Ford and GM build vehicles that don't have the same long term quality standards as Honda or Toyota. That's what consumers already know and why the Big Three keep losing ground.

9th Dec 2008, 13:18

The 53 year old Pontiac mentioned in comment 03:45 had the rings and inserts replaced at 150,000+ miles (in the 60's) due to slight smoking.

The water pump is original, as are the carburetor, starter, distributor, and virtually all other engine parts. It has had the generator replaced. The 4-speed hydramatic transmission has never been touched. Nothing on the body (except the paint) has ever been touched. All windows, hinges, latches, etc. are 100% original. Although used regularly until 1988, the car has had an easy life since then, being used only in shows, movies or parades (it was used in one movie). Still, at over 250,000 miles, it has been incredibly reliable.

The 1977 Buick LeSabre (recently sold) was even MORE reliable. At 277,000+ miles it had had virtually NOTHING done to it except brakes and batteries.

I tend to think the older GM cars were probably better built than Fords, although our highest mileage vehicle EVER was a 1975 Ford with 320,000+ miles and very few minor repairs and NO major repairs.

My Dodge (sold at 240,000+ miles) had had exactly TWO brake jobs, TWO timing belts and ONE hose in that 240,000 miles, and absolutely NOTHING else.

With the above experience with all 3 of the Big Three you'll have to excuse me if I'm a bit skeptical of the "superiority" of Japanese cars. With my driving needs drastically reduced now my 2007 Ford will easily last me a half century. Why buy a noisy, flimsily built Japanese car when I can drive a real car??

9th Dec 2008, 13:34

180K miles, 100K miles??? Big deal! I would be upset if any car I bought today couldn't last at least 200K miles. A car should last that long at the very least with the investment one has made on it. Even my crappiest American vehicle went 225,000 miles before I finally had sense enough to stop pouring money into it and let it go.

Also, if a person wanted to sell their Camry/Accord/Altima/Taurus/Fusion, the Japanese names would give the highest return with the American makes depreciating by as much as half when they are only a few years old. A company that is confident in their product simply does not let this happen.

Just in case you didn't know, Ford sales are calculated by the totals of all the brands they own. That's at least five I can think of while Toyota and Honda only has/have three and two respectively, meaning that Ford both makes and sales more cars altogether than Toyota and Honda. That's not to say it's more dependable by any means, simply that they have a larger market share and consumer base than the other two.

We must remember that Ford sells large trucks, small trucks, cargo vans, police interceptors and taxi cabs, etc. Japanese brands sell mainly to families and commuters who need a dependable car that will last many miles.

Despite what J.D. Power and Associates may say, Ford is still crap. Many reviewers are biased in that they want consumers to shop American. I am about to purchase a compact car soon and the brands I will cross shop from are Nissan, Honda and Toyota. I will not even step foot on the lots of GM or Ford, and certainly not Chrysler. Keep driving your domestics and telling yourself they represent "perfect reliability."

9th Dec 2008, 17:31

"The question remains unanswered, if the Ford and Mercury have never needed a repair, where is the incentive to buy a Honda or Toyota?"

This is a very good question. Since we've put well over 200,000 miles on Fords, GM's and Chryslers, and since we no longer have to keep a car more than 100,000 miles, WHY BUY A JAPANESE CAR? I greatly prefer the style, comfort, quiet and reliability of domestic vehicles. With a 100,000 mile warranty, that's no worries for the life of the car for us. What would be the possible reason for paying thousands more for a car that is not as well built and has a very poor warranty?

10th Dec 2008, 12:09

Here's the irony here. I've seen comments from Pro-Domestic posters who make claims that the Chevy Aveo is fantastic. That and the Fusion is "Award-winning". I've even seen comments that the Pontiac Vibe is a great car. I wonder if they also thought the 80's Chevy Nova, and Dodge Colts were also great. Ironic since the Vibe is built by Toyota as was the 80's Nova. Mitsubishi built the Colt. The Aveo is a re-badged Daewoo made in Korea. The Fusion is a re-badged Mazda.

In other words, as long as it has an American name slapped on it, these people don't care nor know the difference. This goes to the root of the entire "debate": People who don't buy Japanese cars aren't doing so because domestic cars are better. They do it mainly because the other car has a Japanese name. That's it. If you all would admit it, that would end the debate for good.

10th Dec 2008, 12:50

Domestic vehicles offer longer warranties because they don't last as long. I keep my vehicles until they fall apart (200K miles+), not because I have to, but because I see no need in purchasing a new vehicle every few years.

All my imports have run good long after the warranty expired (with NO extended warranty). My domestics however, have not lasted the term of the warranty. It's just my opinion from experience that domestics are shoddily built and use cheap materials and focus more on cost-cutting, whereas domestics are built for long-term usage and reliability.