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Discussion in 'Mopar News and Rumors' started by valiant67, Feb 22, 2017.
Yes, it's called Trust.
I certainly understand the irritation and correct me if I'm wrong but I don't see the reimbursement issue in Aldo's recent case. The parts he was told needed to be replaced were aftermarket parts previously installed by the dealer. There would not have been any FCA warranty or reimbursement on these parts even if they had, in fact, been defective. The issue would be the quality and trustworthiness of the dealer personnel. Aldo mentioned that the owners had previously asked him to notify them if he had any concerns about service. Personally, I think that we have a duty to follow through on such notifications if we expect the situation to improve.
I agree. And normally I would be the first to voice my concern.
But two things have me stunned:
My Service Adviser of many years begged me to give him a 9 or a 10 on the FCA survey or his pay would take a hit. Firstly, I found it strange that someone who I've known for years would have to tell me that. Second, HE gets hit for something the Technician did or said. Sure, the Adviser can go and square it off with the Tech, but the survey doesn't make any distinctions.
I never expected any of this from this dealer: neither the squabble over the survey, nor the blatant misdiagnosing of the issue, nor the straight-face attempt at money-grabbing. It is as if I don't know these people any more.
If I were to bring it up it would have to be a 45 minute sit-down talk with the owner. Otherwise there's no point.
Do you blame them? Apple consistently puts out great products. Personally I'll never buy anything but an iPhone or Mac. Toyota and Honda have well rated, reliable products. They may not be exciting, but do you blame people for sticking with a safe option?
I think as fans of FCA, we often overlook the positive aspects of other brands and consider reviewers biased toward them and see their customers as blindly following those brands. This is not the case.
Edit: and further, isn't blindly following FCA and trashing all other brands the same thing repeat Honda and Toyota customers are being accused of?
I don't follow FCA blindly. But I can say this with 100% certainty: I've never had a problem with a single FCA vehicle, and all reports to the contrary are fake news.
I'm glad you haven't had an issue - neither have I. But I think it's presumptuous to assume that nobody has issues with FCA vehicles. There have been recalls and buybacks for a reason. Could the reliability rankings be skewed? Yes, probably. Is every survey wrong to include FCA at the bottom? No. There are obviously issues with quality and service, even if we haven't experienced them ourselves yet.
This is also what I was talking about. It's biased to believe that FCA hasn't got reliability issues despite what many, many trained professionals have to say.
I'm not sure what Chrysler is supposed to be personally, I think that's part of the problem. Yeah, Serge's 5-year plan said they're the commoner/peon/regular brand, but I don't think that was communicated effectively. And I don't think what FIAT is supposed to be was communicated at all. Clearly on these boards there is disagreement as to what Chrysler should be, but that might be a different cause.
I disagree on Dodge, I think they've been consistent in trying to market it as an American-style performance brand. I'm not sure how well it's resonated, but that one they at least seem to be trying.
Many people still consider Chrysler luxury because they have certain "luxury" characteristics, but when you look at other brands like Mazda, for exmaple, it's clear that the mainstream car market has moved upwards into what was previously considered the "premium" segment. With increasing content and material quality of even cheap cars (Chevy Sonic, Mazda 3), the premium market is dead. In its place, we have the new mainstream - reasonably priced vehicles with faux-luxury features and design.
Looking back.....It might have been a mistake for Fiat to bring in ONLY the 500 and 500 family of cars. It looks like Mini kinda has that segment sewed up.
In the rest of the world.....Fiat's identity is basic, affordable transportation. That is a market segment where the company is sorely lacking. Fiat really ought to be the stand-in for Plymouth. That, in turn, solves Chrysler's identity crisis.....allowing to occupy space on an Oldsmobile / Buick level.
Is there anything about these photos that screams Performance to you?
The confusion comes when automakers make claims that contradict the reality consumers see on the road.
It's no different from Nissan screaming on the radio Innovation that Excites as you drive behind a dowdy Versa with bicycle tires.
Dodge can yell performance all day long, but if all people see are Journeys, Caravans and Darts with plastic hubcaps, at best they will be confused. The more they push the stripped versions, the less believable the message.
You can't deny that the focus is on performance now though. Especially with the discontinuation of the Dart and soon the Grand Caravan. And the fact that the Journey replacement will be RWD with an SRT variant, plus the midsize RWD sedan coming around the same time as the new Challenger and Charger.
Nissan has been advertising Innovation that Excites for what now, five, six years? All the while they have been flooding the market with cheap Versas, Sentras and Altimas. Do you think of Nissan as either innovative or particularly exciting now? Only if you were a Nissan fan and had drank the Kool Aid.
The same is true of Dodge.
I'm not denying all the effort that went into Hellcat, Viper, etc. But just because a lot of effort went into a few peripheral models general perceptions are going to shift. Especially not in three years.
Repositioning is one if the most difficult things a brand can attempt to do. In our generation I can only think of three relatively successful brand repositionings: Hyundai, Audi and Subaru. Meanwhile, Cadillac, Jaguar, Lincoln and Acura are still trying. Volvo may be up to something, but we will need to wait and see.
In 1999 Hyundai set to match and surpass Toyota quality. Eighteen years and untold billions of dollars later, Hyundai --and by extension Kia-- have made undeniable progress. But they are still not where they thought they would be by now --and why they keep firing CEOs here. Arguably, Audi has been a more successful repositioning, which started in 1994 with the appearance of A6. Subaru love campaign started in 2008 but it was more a sharpening of the brand focus than a full-on repositioning.
This is why I am deeply skeptical of FCA having the commitment, discipline, funds and patience to reposition Chrysler or Dodge. It already failed to reposition FIAT in the US. I don't think Dodge should give up its performance models; but I also don't think it's going to be the silver bullet that fixes Dodge some seem to think it is.
I agree with most of your points. It does take a long time to reposition a brand. Dodge has been very good about generating excitement around the Hellcats and the Demon though, plus the Durango SRT. Hyundai has made progress, but transitioning to a reliable brand is harder than aligning a brand with performance goals. Reliability doesn't have a single measurable quantity, but releasing two 707 horsepower cars, a 475 horsepower SUV, and a street legal widebody car with extreme power figures definitely screams performance.
They did fail to reposition Fiat in the US, but that was because of the brand's poor judgment of what type of vehicles an American consumer would be interested in. Had they released normal looking, non-niche vehicles, I suspect they'd be doing much better right now.
And no, I don't find Nissan innovative or exciting. Their steering wheels have the worst design of any manufacturer I've ever seen and I can't overlook that. Seriously, those things are hideous and look like they're from 2005.
There are also a lot of high-performance sedans coming from other brands as they try to inject the sedan market with "excitement". We saw many examples of this at the NAIAS in January.
With low quality and poor customer service, performance enthusiasts will have other choices to fulfill their desires. They may not be Hellcat-type vehicles, but 500+hp twin turbo 6s and 300+hp 4 cylinder vehicles may be enough to stop Dodge's rebranding.
This is a dangerous time for the company to be ignoring its customers' needs.
That was a joke. I've had my share of issues.
I drive SRT errthang so some issues have been caused by just beating the hell out of my vehicles. I recognize when I probably asked too much from a vehicle and I don't "count it" when talking issues. Then I've got rattling sunroofs and failing ACC modules.
I still don't think my Chrysler/Dodge/Jeeps have been any less reliable than any other cars we've owned. Circumstantial evidence? A little luck? Sure. But that evidence impacts me more than any JD Power survey.