1975 Automobile Manufacturer Quality Ratings and
by James Bleeker
This page provides one ranking of the manufacturers of automobiles sold in North America
from model year 1971 to 1974. Other web pages of this section provide two
rankings; however, the numbers required for the second ranking are not
available, that is, they do not exist.
The statistics used in the computations for rating and ranking the car
makers are those found within the April 1975 issue of Consumer Reports. The section providing the necessary statistics
is CR's reliability charts. Reliability is defined by the magazine as the infrequency of serious problems, which it measures annually by a subscriber survey.
The ranking of the car companies is based on the average of the overall reliability ratings of each
manufacturer's models. It provides a measure of how well a car manufacturer's models performed over the entire model-quality spectrum.
Auto Manufacturer Quality by the Average of Overall Reliability Ratings
To compute car-maker quality ratings and assemble a quality ranking using Consumer Reports' overall reliability ratings, a number is associated with each rating. A +1.0 is ascribed to a rating of Much Better Than Average, a +0.5 to a rating of Better Than Average, a 0 to a rating of Average, a -0.5 to a rating of Worse Than Average, and a -1.0 to a rating of Much Worse Than Average. Then an average is taken over all of the manufacturer's model years and models offering an overall reliability rating. CR's 1975 overall reliability ratings are found in the
Overall-Reliability row of its reliability charts.
For this measure of quality, the range is from -1.0 (the worst possible) to +1.0 (the best possible).
The quality ranking of the car manufacturers by this set of computations, together with their quality ratings, are given in the
bar graph below. Only those manufacturers with at least 5 overall CR reliability ratings are included.
The Bar Graph of Auto Manufacturer Quality in 1975
In the graph that follow, the order of the car manufacturers is from best to worst.
Summary and Analysis
In 1975, the Top 3 auto manufacturers
by overall reliability were, in descending order,
Daimler-Benz AG, Nissan Motor Company, and Toyota Motor Corporation, and the
Bottom 3 manufacturers, in
ascending order, were International Harvester Company, AB Volvo, and Saab AB. By this measure of
quality, Ford Motor Company was fourth, and General Motors Corporation
(8th), Chrysler Corporation (9th), and American Motors Corporation (10th) were
at the top of the bottom half.
Two interesting points that the graphs show are:
1. In 1975, the legendary Daimler-Benz AG, bearer of the
automotive-engineering excellence mantel for all of the 1960s, still placed
higher than Toyota Motor Corporation by overall reliability.
2. In 1975, both General Motors Corporation and Chrysler
Corporation were not among the worst, and Ford Motor Company placed slightly
better than it
would 30 years later.
To view the graphs showing the 1975 ratings and rankings of the brands of automobiles, click
For a Google Knol that summarizes the changes in auto-brand and auto-manufacturer ranking by these quality measures from 1990 to 2010, click
AutoOnInfo.net: The auto-quality website with the
Open Directory Cool Site Award.