American Cars Can’t Shake Their “Not Good Enough” Image

For many years it has been widely believed that if you wanted to buy a quality car that would be reliable for years to come, you should avoid the big three American car manufacturers and buy something foreign.

While the American car makers did little to help themselves by mostly producing inferior products, over the past couple years it seems as if they have done a good job of got their act together and have started making better quality and better value vehicles.

In fact, just this past year, it was Ford, not Honda or Toyota, that scored the highest for quality and reliability.

While this is certainly good news for the American automotive industry, the bad news is all of the shoddy work of prior years makes it hard to shake the “just not good enough” image.

Here’s how nearly 500 people responded when asked: Do you believe American cars are the same quality as foreign cars?

  • 60% said “No, I think they are worse quality.”
  • 25% said “Yes, they are on par.”
  • 13% said “No, I think they are better quality.”
  • 2% said they had no opinion

Considering the awful state of the “Big Three” U.S. auto makers, this certainly isn’t very good news.  And I’m sure news like this makes the Federal government worried that they might not ever make back their bailout — I mean investment — in GM and Chrysler.

As someone who has owned nothing but American cars (a Plymouth Acclaim and two Neons) I’ll have to admit I’m a bit biased when it comes to this issue, and I’m certainly very hopeful that American sentiment will turn regarding American car companies.

That being said, since it took years for Ford, GM and Chrysler to develop the “clunker” reputation, it’s going to take just as long for them to get out from under the shadow.


  1. […] much for American cars being unable to shake their “not good enough” […]

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