Charts of Annual Shares of Consumer
Reports' Used Cars to Avoid
by James Bleeker
Below are charts of the annual
shares of Consumer Reports' Used Cars to Avoid.
The first chart gives plots of the shares of General Motors Corporation,
Ford Motor Company, Chrysler Corporation/DaimlerChrysler AG/Chrysler LLC,
Honda Motor Company, and Toyota Motor Corporation for 1992, 1993, 1994,
1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006,
2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010. The second chart includes plots of these
shares and a best-fit line for each manufacturer's set of shares based on a
linear regression of degree one.
The second chart helps to better depict the trend in quality of
each manufacturer's products. From the chart, it seems almost
certain that Ford Motor Company has made some improvement in the
quality of its products. It is less clear whether Chrysler
products have improved, as the modest upward trend (declining
share of used cars to avoid) may only reflect an increasing
number of manufacturers offering for sale in the U.S. a rapidly
increasing number of models of cars, sport-utility vehicles, and
minivans. General Motors Corporation's flat trend line at about
42% of CR's Used Cars to Avoid strongly suggests that GM's
products are mired in the low quality of the spectrum and will
be for many years, maybe generations, provided that the
next recession or two don't put it into liquidation. At the
opposite end of the spectrum, Toyota Motor Corporation's flat
trend line at about 0% of CR's Used Cars to Avoid suggests that
its reputation for excellence in engineering and manufacturing
will be warranted for many years to come. Honda Motor Company's
trend line has a nearly imperceptible decline, suggesting that
its reputation for excellence will be warranted for many years as well.
The difference in product quality between the Big Three (GM,
Ford and Chrysler) on the one hand and the Reliable Two (Toyota
and Honda) on the other has taken a heavy toll on the former's
U.S. new car market share, as the following charts of market
share indicate. The first chart depicts the individual U.S. new
car market shares of GM, Ford, the Chrysler group, Toyota and
Honda. The second chart depicts the composite shares of the Big Three and the Reliable
The very slow decline in the market share of the Big Three and the even
slower rise in the market share of the Reliable Two suggest that
information disseminates very slowly. The questions arise: Why is
information dissemination so slow, and why wasn't GM forced into its
reorganization a decade or two earlier? The automobile industry provides an
excellent opportunity to do consumer research.
The sources for the shares of the Used Cars to Avoid are the
April issues of Consumer Reports for the corresponding years.
The sources for U.S. new car market shares were tables from the Wall Street
Journal, print and online editions.
To view each manufacturer's percent share of the Used Cars to Avoid,
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