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History of Automobile Brand Quality Standings from 1975 to 2010
by James Bleeker

Content Summary

This section of Auto on Info provides charts and tables of auto-brand quality ranks and rank averages from 1975 to 2010.

The ranks are for years 1975, 1980, 1985, 1990, 1995, 2000, 2005, and 2010 and are computed using the statistics found in the Used-Car-to-Avoid tables and the reliability charts of the April issues of Consumer Reports, likely the most respected and followed source of automobile-quality information in North America.

Each page has a "Summary and Analysis" section.

This section currently has the following pages:

Auto-Quality Ranks of Brands of GM and 6 Japan-based Car Manufacturers: Go
Auto-Quality Ranks of Brands of Ford, Chrysler, and 6 Japan-based Car Manufacturers: Go
Auto-Quality Ranks of Brands of 5 Europe-Based and 6 Japan-based Car Manufacturers: Go
Auto-Quality Ranks of 32 Brands for Years 2000, 2005, and 2010: Go
Auto-Quality Rank Averages of the Car Brands: Go


Some interesting highlights of automobile manufacturer quality are:

1. By both infrequency of trouble-prone models and overall reliability, only Toyota Motor Corporation's Toyota and Lexus brands have had consistently high quality rank.

2. General Motors' brands have generally moved down in rank as additional brands by foreign manufacturers have come onto the North American new-car market.

3. By 8-year, 7-year, and 3-year averages, General Motors' brands and Chrysler Group's brands account for 8 or more of the Bottom 10.

4. Ford Motor Company's brands took quite a tumble in quality standing from 1975 to the mid-1990s, but have improved considerably since then.

5. The Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Volvo, Saab, Audi, and Volkswagen brands have generally moved down in rank over time.

6. By overall reliability, the quality standing of Mercedes-Benz has tumbled from 1st place in 1975 and 1980 to 19th place in 2010.

For a Google Knol by site manager that summarizes the changes in auto-brand and auto-manufacturer ranking from 1990 to 2010 by the quality measures of this section, click Go.

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