Other than homes (and education), probably the most expensive purchase the average household makes is for a car. Since it is so large a part of our lives, automotive reliability is a key issue for Americans. Cars that are not reliable cost consumers’ time and money, and most notably, affects overall satisfaction and willingness to buy the brand again.
Research company Consumer Reports publishes an annual reliability survey based on data gathered from its subscribers. The report is based on those who have owned or leased more than a half a million vehicles, from years 2000 to 2016, covering more than 300 models of automobiles. This year’s survey includes the ranking of 29 brands, with eight brands listed as “more reliable,” 10 brands ranked as “reliable,” and 11 brands ranked as “less reliable.”
In the top eight more reliable brands were Lexus, Toyota, Buick, Audi, Kia, Mazda, Hyundai, and Infiniti. The next 10 reliable brands included BMW, Honda, Subaru, Acura, Nissan, Mini, Chevrolet, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, and Ford. Among the less reliable brands were Volvo, Lincoln, Cadillac, Volkswagen, Jeep, GMC, Tesla, Dodge, Chrysler, Fiat, and Ram
Did your vehicle make the reliable list?
Group Activities and Discussion Questions:
- Show Consumer Reports’ report on car reliability: http://www.consumerreports.org/car-reliability/car-brands-reliability-how-they-stack-up/
- Show the video of car rankings: http://youtu.be/g_RkhbF2CVg
- An FAQ on the research methodology can be found at: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2011/10/consumer-reports-car-reliability-faq/index.htm
- Discuss how companies can use the report in their marketing.
- What should companies that didn’t make the top list do to promote their vehicles?
- Review key aspects of developing a product positioning map, including determining the axis labels for positioning.
- Divide students into teams and have each team develop a positioning map for a category of automobiles.
Source: Consumer Reports