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  Brand Quality Grades and U.S. Market Shares

This section of AutoOnInfo.net provides pages giving brand Quality Grades for model years 1985-1989, 1990-1994, 1995-1999, 2000-2004, 2005-2006, and 1985-2006, brand U.S. new car market shares for calendar years 1989, 1994, 1999, 2004, and 2009, brand changes in market share from 1985 to these years, brand changes in market share from 2000 to 2004 and 2009, brand U.S. new light vehicle market shares for calendar years 1989, 1994, 1999, 2004, and 2009 and changes in shares, and charts plotting the brand's U.S. new car market shares for calendar years 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009 and the brand’s U.S. new light vehicle market shares for the same years. Quality Grades are a rating of reliability and durability of car and truck models within the Toyota brand and are based on Consumer Reports' worst vehicle tables and its reliability charts/tables.

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Below are links to the pages that have the tables and charts providing the historical and recent Quality Grades and U.S. new car market shares and light vehicle market shares for the more commonly known brands from years 1985 to 2009, current and defunct. The overall Quality Grades (GQs) of these brands are given as well.

Acura, with a GQ of Middling,
Audi, with a GQ of Worse,
BMW, with a GQ of Poor,
Buick, with a GQ of Worse,
Cadillac, with a GQ of Worse,
Chevrolet, with a GQ of Worst,
Chrysler, with a GQ of Worst,
Dodge, with a GQ of Worst,
Eagle, with a GQ of Poor,
Ford, with a GQ of Worst,
GMC, with a GQ of Worst,
Honda, with a GQ of Middling,
Hyundai, with a GQ of Poor,
Infiniti, with a GQ of Excellent,
Isuzu, with a GQ of Poor,
Jaguar, with a GQ of Poor,
Jeep, with a GQ of Worse,
Kia, with a GQ of Poor,
Lexus, with a GQ of Excellent
Lincoln, with a GQ of Poor,
Mazda, with a GQ of Poor,
Mercedes-Benz , with a GQ of Poor,
Mercury, with a GQ of Worst,
Mini, with a GQ of Poor,
Mitsubishi, with a GQ of Middling,
Nissan, with a GQ of Poor,
Oldsmobile, with a GQ of Worst,
Plymouth, with a GQ of Worst,
Pontiac, with a GQ of Worst,
Porsche, with no GQ,
Saab, with a GQ of Worse,
Saturn, with a GQ of Poor,
Scion, with a GQ of Good,
Subaru, with a GQ of Poor,
Suzuki, with a GQ of Better,
Toyota, with a GQ of Excellent,
Volkswagen, with a GQ of Worst,
Volvo, with a GQ of Poor.

Possible Quality Grades, from best to worst, are: Excellent, Better, Good, Middling, Poor, Worse, and Worst. On the Quality Grade spectrum, Toyota has the best record and Chevrolet has the worst record.

Some Quality Grades have improved in recent years; for example, Hyundai’s most recent Quality Grade is Excellent, as is Honda’s.

Note: Users of the browser Google Chrome may find the above menu to be the only means of accessing the pages of this section.

Data Sources

Below I provide the data sources for those who wish to pursue additional research.

Cars-to-Avoid Tables

“Used Cars to Avoid,” Consumer Reports, April 1991, 291, 291
“Used Cars to Avoid,” Consumer Reports, April 1992, 283
“Used Cars to Avoid,” Consumer Reports, April 1993, 268, 269
“Used Cars to Avoid,” Consumer Reports, April 1994, 269
“Used Cars to Avoid,” Consumer Reports, April 1995, 284
“Used Cars to Avoid,” Consumer Reports, April 1996, 71
“Used Cars to Avoid,” Consumer Reports, April 1997, 69
“Used Cars to Avoid,” Consumer Reports, April 1998, 73
“Used Cars to Avoid,” Consumer Reports, April 1999, 70
“Used Cars to Avoid,” Consumer Reports, April 2000, 75
“Used Cars to Avoid,” Consumer Reports, April 2001, 75
“Used Cars to Avoid,” Consumer Reports, April 2002, 74, 75
“Used Cars to Avoid,” Consumer Reports, April 2003, 88, 89
“Used Cars to Avoid,” Consumer Reports, April 2004, 81
“Used Cars to Avoid,” Consumer Reports, April 2005, 81
“Used Cars to Avoid,” Consumer Reports, April 2006, 81
“Vehicles to Avoid,” Consumer Reports, April 2007, 81, 82
“Used Cars to Avoid,” Consumer Reports, April 2008, 85
“Used Cars to Avoid,” Consumer Reports, April 2009, 82, 83
“Worst Cars, Year by Year,” Consumer Reports, April 2010, 80
“Used Cars to Avoid,” Consumer Reports, April 2011, 84, 85
“Used Cars to Avoid,” Consumer Reports, April 2012, 84, 85

Reliability Tables

“Frequency-of-Repair Records, 1985-1990,” Consumer Reports, April 1991, 258-278
“Frequency-of-Repair Records, 1986-1991,” Consumer Reports, April 1992, 251-268
“Frequency-of-Repair Records, 1987-1992,” Consumer Reports, April 1993, 238-255
“Frequency-of-Repair Records, 1988-1993,” Consumer Reports, April 1994, 271-287
“Frequency-of-Repair Records, 1987-1994,” Consumer Reports, April 1995, 287-301
“Reliability Report, 1988-1995,” Consumer Reports, April 1996, 72-85
“Frequency of Repair, 1989-1996,” Consumer Reports, April 1997, 73-85
“Reliability Specifics: Frequency-of-Repair Charts, 1990-1997,” Consumer Reports, April 1998, 77-89
“Reliability Specifics: Frequency-of-Repair Charts, 1991-1998,” Consumer Reports, April 1999, 75-87
“Frequency-of-Repair Charts, 1992-1999,” Consumer Reports, April 2000, 77-89
“Going the Distance,” Consumer Reports, April 2001, 76-88
“Reliability History for Model Years 1994-2001,” Consumer Reports, April 2002, 77-89
“Reliability Histories for Model Years 1995-2002,” Consumer Reports, April 2003, 90-101
“Reliability Histories for Model Years 1996-2003,” Consumer Reports, April 2004, 82-93
“Reliability Histories (1997 to 2004) & Predicted Reliability (New Cars),” Consumer Reports, April 2005, 82-93
“Detailed Reliability Ratings,” Consumer Reports, April 2006, 82-93
“Reliability Ratings,” Consumer Reports, April 2007, 83-93
“Used Car Reliability,” Consumer Reports, April 2008, 86-96
“Reliability,” Consumer Reports, April 2009, 86-96
“Reliability,” Consumer Reports, April 2010, 82-92
“Reliability,” Consumer Reports, April 2011, 86-96
“Reliability,” Consumer Reports, April 2012, 86-96

Brand U.S. New Car and New Light Vehicle Market Shares

“U.S. New Car Sales by Market Segments: 1985-1984 Calendar Years,” Ward's Automotive Yearbook 1986, 107. Michigan, 1986.
“U.S. New Car Sales by Market Segments: 1987-1986 Calendar Years,” Ward's Automotive Yearbook 1988, 155. Michigan, 1988.
“U.S. Car, Light Truck Sales,” Ward's Automotive Yearbook 1990, 212. Michigan, 1990.
“U.S. Calendar Year Car and Light Truck Sales: Domestic and Import,” Ward's Automotive Yearbook 1992, 212, 213. Michigan, 1992.
“U.S. Calendar Year Car and Light Truck Sales: Domestic and Import,” Ward's Automotive Yearbook 1994, 194, 195. Michigan, 1994.
“U.S. Calendar Year Car and Light Truck Sales: Domestic and Import,” Ward's Automotive Yearbook 1996, 207, 208. Michigan, 1996.
“U.S. Calendar Year Car and Light Truck Sales: Domestic and Import,” Ward's Automotive Yearbook 1998, 218, 219. Michigan, 1998.
“U.S. Calendar Year Car and Light Truck Sales: Domestic and Import,” Ward's Automotive Yearbook 2000, 242, 243. Michigan, 2000.
“U.S. Calendar Year Car and Light Truck Sales: Domestic and Import,” Ward's Automotive Yearbook 2002, 241, 242. Michigan, 2002.
“U.S. Calendar Year Car and Light Truck Sales: Domestic and Import,” Ward's Automotive Yearbook 2004, 242, 243. Michigan, 2004.
“U.S. Calendar Year Car and Light Truck Sales: Domestic and Import,” Ward's Automotive Yearbook 2006, 232, 233. Michigan, 2006.
“U.S. Calendar Year Car and Light Truck Sales: Domestic and Import,” Ward's Automotive Yearbook 2008, 250, 251. Michigan, 2008.
“U.S. Calendar Year Car and Light Truck Sales: Domestic and Import,” Ward's Automotive Yearbook 2010, 222, 223. Michigan, 2010.
“1985 U.S. Dealer New Car Sales by Line by Month,” Ward's Automotive Yearbook 1986, 108. Michigan, 1986.
“1986 U.S. Dealer New Car Sales by Line by Month,” Ward's Automotive Yearbook 1988, 157. Michigan, 1988.
“1987 U.S. Dealer New Car Sales by Line by Month,” Ward's Automotive Yearbook 1988, 156. Michigan, 1988.
“1988 U.S. Dealer New Car Sales by Line by Month,” Ward's Automotive Yearbook 1990, 205, 206. Michigan, 1990.
“1989 U.S. Dealer New Car Sales by Line by Month,” Ward's Automotive Yearbook 1990, 204, 205. Michigan, 1990.
“1990 U.S. Dealer New Car Sales by Line by Month,” Ward's Automotive Yearbook 1992, 218, 219. Michigan, 1992.
“1991 U.S. Dealer New Car Sales by Line by Month,” Ward's Automotive Yearbook 1992, 217, 218. Michigan, 1992.
“1992 U.S. Dealer New Car Sales by Line by Month,” Ward's Automotive Yearbook 1994, 206-208. Michigan, 1994.
“1993 U.S. Dealer New Car Sales by Line by Month,” Ward's Automotive Yearbook 1994, 203-205. Michigan, 1994.
“1994 U.S. Dealer New Car Sales by Line by Month,” Ward's Automotive Yearbook 1996, 219-221. Michigan, 1996.
“1995 U.S. Dealer New Car Sales by Line by Month,” Ward's Automotive Yearbook 1996, 216-218. Michigan, 1996.
“1996 U.S. Dealer New Car Sales by Line by Month,” Ward's Automotive Yearbook 1998, 230-232. Michigan, 1998.
“1997 U.S. Dealer New Car Sales by Line by Month,” Ward's Automotive Yearbook 1998, 227-229. Michigan, 1998.
“U.S. Dealer New Car Sales by Line by Month, 1998,” Ward's Automotive Yearbook 2000, 249-251. Michigan, 2000.
“U.S. Dealer New Car Sales by Line by Month, 1999,” Ward's Automotive Yearbook 2000, 247-249. Michigan, 2000.
“U.S. Dealer New Car Sales by Line by Month, 2000,” Ward's Automotive Yearbook 2002, 250-252. Michigan, 2002.
“U.S. Dealer New Car Sales by Line by Month, 2001,” Ward's Automotive Yearbook 2002, 248-250. Michigan, 2002.
“U.S. Import Sales by Years, 1989-1978,” Ward's Automotive Yearbook 1990, 219. Michigan, 1990.
“U.S. Import Sales by Years, 1991-1980,” Ward's Automotive Yearbook 1992, 229. Michigan, 1992.
“U.S. Import Sales by Years, 1995-1984,” Ward's Automotive Yearbook 1996, 231. Michigan, 1996.
“1985 U.S. New Truck Sales by Line by Month” and “Ward’s Light Truck Market Segmentation,” Ward's Automotive Yearbook 1986, 118. Michigan, 1986.
“1986 U.S. New Truck Sales by Line by Month” and “Ward’s Light Truck Market Segmentation,” Ward's Automotive Yearbook 1988, 167. Michigan, 1988.
“1987 U.S. New Truck Sales by Line by Month” and “Ward’s Light Truck Market Segmentation,” Ward's Automotive Yearbook 1988, 166. Michigan, 1988.
“1988 U.S. New Truck Sales by Line by Month,” Ward's Automotive Yearbook 1990, 215. Michigan, 1990.
“1989 U.S. New Truck Sales by Line by Month,” Ward's Automotive Yearbook 1990, 214. Michigan, 1990.
“1990 U.S. New Truck Sales by Line by Month,” Ward's Automotive Yearbook 1992, 222, 223. Michigan, 1992.
“1991 U.S. New Truck Sales by Line by Month,” Ward's Automotive Yearbook 1992, 221, 222. Michigan, 1992.
“1992 U.S. New Truck Sales by Line by Month,” Ward's Automotive Yearbook 1994, 210, 211. Michigan, 1994.
“1993 U.S. New Truck Sales by Line by Month,” Ward's Automotive Yearbook 1994, 209, 210. Michigan, 1994.
“1994 U.S. New Truck Sales by Line by Month,” Ward's Automotive Yearbook 1996, 223, 224. Michigan, 1996.
“1995 U.S. New Truck Sales by Line by Month,” Ward's Automotive Yearbook 1996, 222, 223. Michigan, 1996.
“1996 U.S. New Truck Sales by Line by Month,” Ward's Automotive Yearbook 1998, 234, 235. Michigan, 1998.
“1997 U.S. New Truck Sales by Line by Month,” Ward's Automotive Yearbook 1998, 233, 234. Michigan, 1998.
“1998 U.S. New Truck Sales by Line by Month,” Ward's Automotive Yearbook 2000, 254, 255. Michigan, 2000.
“1999 U.S. New Truck Sales by Line by Month,” Ward's Automotive Yearbook 2000, 252, 253. Michigan, 2000.
“2000 U.S. New Truck Sales by Line by Month,” Ward's Automotive Yearbook 2002, 255, 256. Michigan, 2002.
“2001 U.S. New Truck Sales by Line by Month,” Ward's Automotive Yearbook 2002, 253, 254. Michigan, 2002.

Other Market Share Sources Examined and Considered

In addition, pages from several of the World Motor Vehicle Data publications were examined.

This page was created in November of 2012.

AutoOnInfo.net: Helping to inform consumers which autos and brands are better than good and worse than bad since 2001.

Additional Resources

More detail on brand Quality Grades is given in the Kindle ebook entitled AutoOnInfo.net's Car Quality Series, Volume 2: Brand Quality for Model Years 1985 to 2006 and Brand Market Shares from 1985 to 2009. Links to the Amazon page offering the book are given below.

Book
Icon for AutoOnInfo.net’s Car Quality Series Volume 2: Brand Quality for Model Years 1985 to 2006 and Effect on Brand Market Shares from 1985 to 2009

AutoOnInfo.net's Car Quality Series, Volume 2: Brand Quality for Model Years 1985 to 2006 and Effect on Brand Market Shares from 1985 to 2009

This volume of AutoOnInfo.net’s car guide series offers consumers and researchers an historical summary of the reliability and durability of car and truck brands and examines how these brands have fared in their U.S. market shares. It uses 6-year-old model entries in Consumer Reports’ Used Car to Avoid – also termed Vehicles to Avoid and Worst Cars, Year by Year – and CR’s reliability charts to ascribe quality grades to automobile brands for model-year groups 1985 to 1989, 1990 to 1994, 1995 to 1999, 2000 to 2004, 2005 to 2006, and 1985 to 2006. In addition to ascribing quality grades to each brand, it provides a chart that plots the number of the brand’s 6-year-old model entries in CR’s vehicles to avoid. To examine the effect that a brand’s reliability and durability has had on sales, two or more charts depicting the brand’s U.S. market shares for calendar years 1985 to 2009 are given. These grades and charts and the author’s comments impart an historical perspective that sheds light on the present condition of surviving vehicle lines and their future prospects, individual and institutional shortcomings, and what effect these may have on the U.S.

Also visit www.CarsOnInfo.net and www.CarQualityInfo.net for more car and truck quality charts, graphs, and information.