Prius HID headlights–a threat to Toyota’s reputation?

“Prius headlamp troubles could dim Toyota brand’s reputation,” writes Jean Halliday in today’s Advertising Age and Automotive News. I’ve suggested that manufacturers pick up the cost of common problems out of warranty. That said, this story seems driven more by an agenda than by the facts. The issue: the optional HID headlights of the circa-2006 Prius are prone to turning… More →

Can we clear up some misunderstandings?

The emails we receive suggest that many people misunderstand TrueDelta and its research process. Here I’ll attempt to address the most common misunderstandings. Misunderstanding #1: TrueDelta wants survey responses many times a month. Reality: We usually only need a survey response the first month you’re eligible to participate, then at the end of every quarter after that (four times a… More →

Ford cutting back on customer care?

I’ve written before that Detroit needs to reduce the risk of buying its cars by providing proper customer care. Unfortunately, I recently learned that Ford might be cutting back on the out-of-warranty assistance it provides to customers. While visiting a close friend of my wife, we learned that her husband’s truck had an electronic controller in its 4WD system fail… More →

Comparison: 2010 Buick LaCrosse vs. 2010 Ford Taurus

For 2010 both Buick and Ford are seeking to regain ground in the upper-midsize sedan segment. In Buick’s case, the brand’s future in the U.S. could well hinge on the success of the thoroughly redesigned LaCrosse. And Ford needs the new Taurus to succeed, lest it also be forced into bankruptcy. Traditionally Buick has matched off against Mercury, not Ford.… More →

What’s GM thinking?

GM added owner loyalty bonuses for many models this month, but reduced the regular rebate by the same amount. So while people who currently own a GM car can get as large a rebate as last month, those who don’t are often being offered $1,000 to $1,500 less. This doesn’t strike me as a good way to sell more cars.

GM’s Chapter 11: Failure to Collaborate

Following GM’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing today, the Internet has been flooded with explanations of GM’s decline. Here’s mine… Nearly everything wrong with GM can be traced to one source: GM’s senior management has long acted as if it should make all important decisions, and that everyone else involved–middle management, workers, suppliers, dealers–should simply execute their orders. This essentially tossed… More →