GM the surprise winner in J.D. Power long-term surveys
Of all the automakers, General Motors was the greatest success story of the J.D. Power long-term survey. Sure, Toyota dominated by coming in #2 of mass-market brands and #2 of luxury brands (Lexus), but GM’s performance was stunning given where the company was ten years ago—or twenty years ago—or thirty—or forty—or fifty or sixty or seventy years ago. GM’s Buick topped the mass-market player list—coming in #3 overall; among domestics, only Lincoln managed to beat Chevrolet; and Cadillac came in above Audi, Honda, Volvo, and Mercedes, among many others.
How did the other American companies do? Ford did nearly as well as GM; Lincoln was #7 overall, beating Chevrolet and BMW, while Ford itself managed to sandwich itself between Chevy and Mazda, a fine place to be.
Tesla, not surprisingly, refused to take part; and J.D. Power graphic artists were no doubt happy to have such a long bar removed from the chart. Land Rover, incidentally, has traditionally been the anchor, and played that role again; sadly, due entirely to the Pacifica, Chrysler was the second worst, occupying an unusually bad place between traditional bottom-of-the-charters Jaguar and Land Rover. You know Chrysler has problems when they’re beaten by Fiat; but Volvo has similar problems.
Ram once again did relatively well, which is ironic. GM’s worst brand was its truck-and-SUV-only GMC, which came in between Fiat and Volvo, near the very bottom. Ram, on the other hand, came in just below Honda and Acura, above Mitsubishi, Mini, Mercedes, and Subaru.
Some of these results seem odd; Volvo is normally seen as fairly reliable, and Subaru has a stellar reputation. Mini coming above Subaru is nearly as strange as Chrysler being below Jaguar. However, the numbers don’t lie. They might mislead, especially since numbers five or ten apart might not be significantly different, but they don’t lie. This was a great report card for GM and Ford, and a terrible one for Fiat Chrysler.
Clark Westfield grew up fixing up and driving past-their-prime American cars, including various GM and Mopar V8s. He has ghostwritten auto news for the last few years, lives in Farmingdale, New York, and can be reached at +1.516-531-4021.