News on automotive quality: American Consumer Satisfaction Index shows U-S automotive brands slipping.
The index is based on a survey of recent car buyers. questions included vehicle quality, price and dealership experience.
European marques averaged a score of 84.7 followed by Asian brands averaged 84.1 and U.S. brands came in at 82.
The industry wide average slid to 83 from 84 a year earlier, marking the first decline in two years. Mercedes-Benz led with a rating of 88, just ahead of Lexus (87). Honda, Subaru and Toyota tied for third place at 86. GMC and Cadillac shared fourth place at 85.
Chevrolet and Dodge fell 5 points and 2 points, respectively, to an industry-low score of 79. Jeep (80) and Buick (82) also ranked below average. But Chrysler (84) and GMC both posted 5-point gains.
Back on July 24th I delivered the following commentary on John McElroy's AutoLine Daily, global auto report on the problems in the auto supply chain. Business is good--sometimes too good for the industry's own good.
from 7/24 SUPPLIERS STRUGGLE TO MEET DEMAND
The domestic auto industry is on a roll, sales are up, prices are up, incentives are falling and production could hit 16-million units this year. Is everybody happy? No. Those who hold the key to the car assembly are not, the suppliers. Many slimmed down and they just don't have the strength, the power and the capital to pump out as many parts as the car makers are demanding.
But now I'm told some tier one suppliers are not even replacing worn out tooling at the tier two suppliers. It's the tier one's job to replace that. The tier two's have to maintain it. But, when it can't be maintained anymore and has to be replaced many tier one's are not doing it, for one reason or another. This is causing, downtime, production delays, could cause injuries and even quality issues.
But wait, there's more. There's another sticky issue, lower prices being forced on suppliers by the companies they produce for. There have been lawsuits, and I'm told more litigation is on the way, over these issues. If this surge in demand continues and these issues are not resolved, we could be facing more supplier bankruptcies, more lawsuits and perhaps even more recalls, because of quality issues.