American cars reclaim the market
Cars have been a passionate part of my life for as long as I can remember, and I’ve always felt confident about my car knowledge and opinions–until now.
Ever since I tried to build myself a car out of cardboard and brads in kindergarten, I have understood that American cars, to put it nicely, sucked. However, as seen at the recent Detroit Auto Show, in various news reports and on car Web sites, American car companies are turning around their reputation and starting to make amazing vehicles.
I have no idea how to react.
From a young age, I learned not to run with scissors. I also learned that companies like Ford screw over consumers with high prices and bad products. My lessons were backed up with proof for nearly two decades.
Allow me to give some examples.
According to a CBS investigative piece airing in 2006, the Ford Focus had the highest number of recalls of any car since 1980 with 12 recalls and seven defect investigations. Not only was the car recalled, but each recall was more terrifying than the last ranging from engine stalls to the rear tires falling off completely.
For years, foreign cars topped the J.D. Power and Associates Dependability Study with Lexus always on the top.
Many American cars also cost more money than foreign imports, and many people felt this was acceptable because buying American cars helped keep jobs in America. Unfortunately, most people didn’t realize that American cars were made outside of the U.S. just like the foreign brands. Most were made in Canada.
So there I sat for years, cozy in my mother’s Volkswagen and father’s Subaru, knowing I was in a foreign but much better vehicle.
Now everything has changed.
As I and many other CU students grow older and begin to approach graduation, the idea of buying my very own car without any parental assistance looms near. While I should be more concerned with more important adult activities, such as starting a career, I am mostly looking forward to buying a car or a used nissan once I earn the money and add an auto insurance policy.
That being said, I’ve already began looking for a beautiful new machine to cart myself around in. As I do research, visit car dealerships and read reviews, I become increasingly nervous. Some of the best choices in the car market right now are made by (gulp) American car companies.
General Motors (GM) is the biggest car manufacturer in the world and they are starting to show off what they are capable of. While Toyota sits in its corner, smug with its bloated and boring Prius, GM is busy making more fuel- efficient cars, using E85 ethanol in multiple models, creating all-new hybrids and even developing new electric end fuel-cell vehicles.
Then there is reliability.
When J.D. Power and Associates did their annual study on dependability in 2006, Lexus remained on top but Mercury, Buick and Cadillac were all close followers. That means three out of the top five dependable companies are American and two were Japanese. The highest ranking European car company was BMW, which ranked 9th. When you have a BWM, you’d have to bring it to a specialized bmw diagnostics and repair service to keep it in top shape. And if you notice cracks on the windshield, then you should consider getting a windshield replacement service immediately.
So I am at a loss for words. Now American companies are beating everyone else in efficiency and are closing in on being the most dependable. American companies are not stopping there; they are even winning over the consumers.
Many cars were redesigned this year and many people felt it was safe to say the popular Japanese Honda Accord was likely to win most of the 2007 and 2008 awards. This was not the case.
Motor Trend named the Cadillac CTS Car of the Year, Car and Driver gave three of its 10 best spots to American-made models and Edmunds’ Consumers’ Most Wanted list for 2007 ranked the GMC Acadia as the most significant vehicle of the year. In fact, Edmunds’ even admitted that it is safe to call 2007 “the year of GM.”
As American cars improve, their prices are even acceptable in today’s market. Not only are they affordable and functional, many argue that American cars have style that rival or beat others. Many of them are even made on U.S. soil.
So there you have it boys and girls. America is making great cars. While many Japanese and European companies are still making fine products, everyone better keep an eye out on what companies like Ford and GM are developing because they are most likely going to make what we are all going to want to buy in the next few years.
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Cameron Naish at email@example.com