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Consumer Reports Picks Chrysler 300 over Lexus LS

Discussion in 'Mopar / FCA News' started by HoboChangba, Jul 9, 2020.

  1. 77 Monaco Brougham

    77 Monaco Brougham Well-Known Member

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    I always said that the former Chrysler Corp. overlooked a valuable resource in Chrysler Australia. That unit really could have been better used to help out the Mother Ship during the dark years of the 1970's / early 80's.

    What a waste of good engineering...and...done with an eye on resourcefulness. A turbocharged version of the 265 Inline Six would have been so sweet under the hood of an F / M Body & or B Body of the day.
     
  2. Jerry Simcik

    Jerry Simcik Well-Known Member

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    Everything in that Genesis interior that makes it look like anything more than a slab of plastic comes straight from eBay...

    The 300's interior is classy and modest. It is understated, as it should be for any sensible, mature person...
     
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  3. mopar22

    mopar22 Well-Known Member

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    Nothing about their interior looks like plastic coming from ebay. How does the 300 looks classy to you? Classy to me is a luxury which means it's always changing with the times, the 300 has not changed with the times and it's interior is very far behind man cars on todays road
     
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  4. Jerry Simcik

    Jerry Simcik Well-Known Member

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    Luxury doesn't change all the time. If you're changing all the time, you've missed the mark... If something is luxurious once, it will remain luxurious. Look at an old watch, a classic car, antique furniture, old buildings, fabrics, materials, etc...

    Also, here's some junk from eBay to illustrate what I mean:

    Here's a dash applique kit; you can get it in various wood-, metal-, and fiber-finished. You could easily mix and match several kits and replicate the style seen in the Genesis.

    Here's a seat cover kit that closely matches the Genesis. It's available in several color choices.

    Here's a matching set of floor mats; again, several colors to choose from!

    Here's a gap-filling molding kit; these are available in many, many colors - some even glow in the dark or are backlit.

    Here's a phone/tablet mount for your phone to put it up high and sticking out of the dash like the Genesis.

    Here's some interior refinishing paint; change the color of any panel you wish to create your favorite multi-tone interior, there are many colors to choose from!

    There are SO MANY MORE THINGS out there as well. All sorts of trim rings, custom knobs for every switch, all sorts of lights, extra sound deadeners, upgraded infotainment systems, custom steering wheels, headlights, taillights, wheels, fenders, hoods, spoilers, side skirts; I could go on...

    And don't forget, this is an OEM interior that has many of the same themes found in the Genesis but which have been implemented tastefully. (With perhaps the exceptions of the lines around the bottom of the infotainment trim - that's a bit odd...)

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. aldo90731

    Staff Member Level III Supporter

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    This is very true.

    However, (a) fast tech innovation, and (b) fashion, have luxury automakers convinced that they are not constrained by producing vehicles with “durability” any longer.

    Years ago, part of the intrinsic value in a Mercedes-Benz was the knowledge that you were buying one of the most long-lasting vehicles on the road. And the vehicle design reflected this by being purposely restrained and understated, precisely to allow the vehicle to transcend short-term fads in styling —i.e., produce a timeless product.

    But these considerations have been disappearing from luxury, and replaced by monthly, quarterly and annual sales races, huge discounts and incentives, and aided by leasing.

    I believe part of the appeal of vehicles like Wrangler, Challenger, and upcoming Bronco, is from a portion of the market public who still hungers timeless designs that are instantly recognizable, and are willing to pay a premium to get it.
     
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  6. Charger Red

    Charger Red Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately, the value of a vehicle with prolonged life, longevity, etc has been lost simply because a majority of people no longer OWN their cars. They rent them for three years or less and then get another rental term.
     
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  7. Jerry Simcik

    Jerry Simcik Well-Known Member

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    The data does not support that; vehicle ownership durations are INCREASING, as are the average age of registered automobiles in general. The average is now nearly 80 months (6 years, 8 months).

    Some people lease and or trade every 2 to 3 years, but those people are few and far between and are either very wealthy, receive a vehicle stipend for their job, use the vehicle for commercial use, drive very little, are deeply in debt, or a combination of those factors. They are not your average consumer...
     
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  8. aldo90731

    Staff Member Level III Supporter

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    Leasing penetration is much higher among luxury than volume automakers.

    In fact, the poorer the long-term durability of the vehicle, like that of Jaguar, Land Rover, Audi, Infiniti, normally the greater the proportion of leasing relative to sales. Lexus, a perennial top in durability, has one of the lowest lease penetrations on the market.

    Mercedes used to have strong durability and low leasing, but as its vehicles have become increasingly complex, they have declined in durability and leasing has increased.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Jerry Simcik

    Jerry Simcik Well-Known Member

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    It's real easy to be "Dependable" when you don't have many vehicles that are owned longer than 3 years...

    Why do people still focus so much on these cherry picked data sets??? The political polls from 2016 are more accurate...

    For example, J.D. Power notes that is uses "targeted" owners for its surveys, which right there draws a HUGE RED FLAG in terms of legitimacy, it relies upon the perceptions of uneducated people to determine what an "issue" is, and their surveys cover only the first 90 days ("Initial Quality") or 3 years of ownership or beyond ("Dependability"); if something happens between day 91 and the start of year 3, that doesn't matter...

    There are better ways to collect this data and analyze it; you could get more reliable data from CarFax, I'd imagine...
     
    #89 Jerry Simcik, Aug 9, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2020
  10. KrisW

    KrisW Well-Known Member

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    Yes, the IQS and VDS reports are bogus (rankings are based on a points differences that's below margin of error; there's no info provided about sampling sizes or response rates; all "defects" as considered equally significant, so not being able to pair your phone scores the same as having the paint flake off the bodywork), but JDP does collect good data, and it does produce much better information for car makers... who pay for the privilege.
     
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  11. aldo90731

    Staff Member Level III Supporter

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    Perception is reality: it doesn’t matter if you have the best quality if no one knows it; similarly, it matters if consumers believe your quality sucks and won’t buy your product, no matter if you think your quality is great.

    Your understanding of VDS is incorrect. JD Power samples owners of 3-year old vehicles only. The 3-year time horizon is because that’s the minimum common denominator across all automakers when it comes to warranty coverage. It wouldn’t be fair to compare vehicles that are still under warranty vs vehicles that aren’t any longer.

    IQS, which is collected after 90 days from purchase, has less of a consumer focus and more a plant, manufacturing and dealer PDI focus. Of the two quality studies JD Power publishes, IQS is less relevant for us buyers, but automakers eat it up because they are in a much more immediate position to impact IQS metrics than they are to impact VDS.

    “Targeting” sample simply means setting a minimum quota of 300 returned surveys for each vehicle. Other quota parameters are the length of ownership. That’s all. This is a perfectly scientifically accepted sampling method. The results are then weighted to sales, so that each brand and automaker score is comprised of a weighted number that reflects its market share.

    There’s nothing JD Power can do about how educated or uneducated auto buyers are. This is just the reality of the market. Automakers have to deal with it just like any other businesses have to.

    Correct, JD Power’s data collection doesn’t distinguish between a faulty navigation screen, a body rust problem and a broken transmission. But the reality is that no two automakers would ever agree on a weighting scheme that differentiates problem severity, so JD Power opts for the least intrusive approach and leaves them all unweighted. It is the only fair comparison across manufacturers.

    @KrisW is correct in that many of the “rankings” are not statistically significant. This has long been a criticism in JD Power’s reporting, and one that JD Power refuses to address. Another criticism is the inherent conflict of interest that exists between being a fair and objective arbiter, and selling the rights to advertise winning the awards. But these do not detract from JD Power’s sampling or research methods.

    Yes, the JD Power methodology is not “perfect,” but JD Power has been a market leader in data collection for 38 years. Others have tried to develop their own methodology but got tangled up in some of the issues outlined above. Even FCA uses JD Power’s PP100 measures for its proprietary —i.e., internal— quality tracking.

    Ultimately, automakers can chose between (a) arguing endlessly how imperfect the JD Power results are, or (b) deconstructing the results, understanding their root causes and addressing them. History and data prove that those who take the results from the JD Power studies seriously, win on the market.
     
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  12. aldo90731

    Staff Member Level III Supporter

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    PS - it is in times of crisis like these that Toyota’s obsession for quality separates it from the rest. Toyota was the only automaker to post a —modest— profit in Q2.

    For instance, in Mexico, where Toyota is still growing like it did in the US and Canada during the 1980s and 1990s, Toyota outsold VW in Q2 for the first time ever, and outsold Honda 2-to-1. For those unfamiliar with the Mexico market, VW and Nissan have been the top-2 selling brands for the past 40+ years; Toyota only entered Mexico in the early 2000s. And Toyota achieved all of this by methodically focusing on product quality, on messaging quality in its marketing, and on customer retention. When Mexico sales fell 40% in Q2, Toyota sales fell much less than the others, allowing it to grab market share.

    The underlying premise is simple: in times of crisis, a proportion of consumers flee from those brands they perceived as risky, towards those they perceive as “safe.” Reliability, durability, safety, strong resale, are all elements that convey the perception of a “safe” brand. When the crisis ends, these automakers tend to do a better job holding onto their customers, so those gains become permanent.

    This is the exact same strategy Toyota —and Honda— used in the US and Canada for decades.

    In the US, the current crisis is helping Hyundai and Kia grab market share, two automakers that took product quality very seriously for the past 20 years without the average consumer noticing much. But that’s what crises do: they make underlying trends obvious and accelerate change, whether for the better or not.
     
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  13. KrisW

    KrisW Well-Known Member

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    Take Toyota's “success” with a pinch of salt - there's a big confounding factor at work in that Covid-19 did not affect all nations equally. Toyota's results are more to do with its truly global footprint than any superior product offering. Japan in particular was commercially relatively unaffected by the initial Covid-19 outbreak, with businesses allowed to trade throughout - sales revenues did fall, but only by around 35% in Japan, and 34% across the rest of Asia. Compare that to -52% North America and -47% in Europe (source here: https://global.toyota/pages/global_toyota/ir/financial-results/2021_1q_summary_en.pdf - units by market are on page 30, revenues on page 31 - Toyota's financial year runs from to April, not December, so its 2021-Q1 is what most companies would call 2020-Q2).

    I couldn't find revenue figures for FCA quickly, so I'll have to compare on volumes instead. For 2020-Q2, FCA North American sales fell 39% in volume terms from 597,600 to 367,000. Toyota's figure for North America was down 62% (744,000 to 285,000). If anything, FCA has done better than Toyota in the USA, but unlike Toyota, it has no presence in East Asia that would have saved it from posting a loss. But again, there's a confounding factor: Toyota's strongest American markets are the urbanized coastal states which were worst affected (in Q2) by Covid-19.
     
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  14. aldo90731

    Staff Member Level III Supporter

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    I don’t know where you go those numbers. They are WAY off.

    Here are the official US sales figures, which make 90% of N.A. sales.

    In Q2 2020, TMS sales declined 35%; FCA declined 39%.

    In first 6 months of 2020, TMS sales declined 22%; FCA declined 26%.

    The longer this crisis lingers, the more FCA buyers will get spooked relative to Toyota buyers. That's how it's worked for decades.

    Notice how Hyundai-Kia sales declined much less than FCA or Toyota's. This is in part because Hyundai-Kia are still in growth mode in N.A. We saw a similar shift during the 2008-2010 crisis.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. KrisW

    KrisW Well-Known Member

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    Figures were from Toyota's own financial reports, for April to July. The link to the document was in my post - I even said what page it was on. The difference is probably due to Toyota reporting shipments, and your figures showing sales.
     
  16. DrDan68108

    DrDan68108 Well-Known Member

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    That reminds me of their first report on minivans in, I think, 1985. They labeled the Voyager "a winner by default." In fairness, they found the VW Vanagon more tightly constructed (I've noticed that about VWs myself). They found the Toyota Van inferior to the V'ger (they were even let down by the Toyota's fit and finish). I can imagine (fantasize) the chief editor reacting to the first draft: "You are recommending a Chrysler product over a Toyota?! Readers are going to abandon us in droves! DO SOMETHING!" (Hence, the "by default.")
     
  17. DrDan68108

    DrDan68108 Well-Known Member

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    Embarrassing, too, is when a Korean car has an interior that's more Mopar-like than some Mopars.

    The dash reminds me of a '62 Chrysler minus the cool Astradome cluster, and the touchscreen added. (Too bad that it looks like it was stuck on as an afterthought, though its position reminds me of the '62 Chrysler's rear view mirror.)

    As for that Lexus (and the other Toyota products of late), I can imagine a new "celebrity" endorser:
    [​IMG]
     
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  18. The Batman

    The Batman Active Member

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    I have to disagree. The 300 interior is boring and they can't seem to make up their minds. Do you want black leather and lots of fake wood? We have that. Do you want a black and red ricer boi interior? We have that, too. The steering wheel and gauge cluster is nice enough for an interior from almost a decade ago, but the infotainment screen is too small and there's still too much fake wood and piano black.
     
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  19. HoboChangba

    HoboChangba Well-Known Member

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    No one has ever complained about sitting in my wife's 300S. That's a really nice interior with very comfortable seats. All she ever gets is compliments. especially by the 'foreign' owners.
     
  20. Tony K

    Tony K Active Member

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    MBs were known for their durability; they were not necessarily, however, known for their reliability. That said, I think if you avoid the S Class models, an older MB, like a W124, which is a relatively reliable car, shouldn't be overly expensive to maintain or repair, at least compared to an Audi or BMW, generation-dependent. The more they made of your classic Mercedes, the better. Here's a good article that talks about MB reliability vs durability. If you can afford to maintain a W124 or W140 or prior MB, you can pass the car on to your descendants several generations.

    There Is a Difference Between a Reliable Car and a Durable Car (at https://www.roadandtrack.com/car-culture/a29446/the-difference-between-a-reliable-and-a-durable-car/ )
     
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