The study also showed that companies which performed very well in long-term dependability in 2010 are avoided by consumers due to the lack of trust. Among brands included in VDS, Cadillac, Ford, Hyundai, Lincoln and Mercury have the greatest lags between dependability performance and consumer perception.
Some of the ways car manufacturers can reinforce perceptions of high quality include:
- providing extended warranties, which demonstrates a brand's faith in its products;
- incorporating features, materials and finishes in vehicles that have a rich feel;
- ensuring that new models launch with better quality than their predecessors.
Porsche is the leader of the 2010 rankings, while Lincoln improved by six positions from 2009 to follow Porsche in the nameplate rankings. Rounding out the top five nameplates are Buick, Lexus and Mercury. In addition, seven of the 10 models with the lowest incidence of problems in the industry are from Ford and General Motors, including the 2007 model-year Buick Lacrosse, Buick Lucerne, Cadillac DTS, Ford Five Hundred, Lincoln MKZ, Mercury Milan, and Mercury Montego.
"The improvements in long-term dependability and component replacement rates are good news for both consumers and manufacturers," said Sargent. "Manufacturers benefit from lower warranty expenses, while consumers incur lower maintenance and repair costs, as well as less inconvenience."