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Detroit Automakers Face Public Bias

According to the latest survey conducted by AP-AOL Autos, Americans have a bias against US-made cars. The problem is that the perceptions often do not match reality. Flickers of loyalty could have afforded relief to the ailing Detroit automakers. Survey found out that automobile owners, which have been made respondents, have more faith in Japanese-made cars than in vehicles manufactured by Detroit's Big 3. To reclaim the vanishing support, Detroit automakers, according to John Wolkonowicz, auto industry analyst at Global Insight, an economic research and consulting company, should bring back the sense of "swagger and attitude in the 1960s." Wolkonowicz continued, "They're (referring to Detroit automakers) tearing their hair out. It's more of a problem of perception than reality. The problem started in the late 1960s and early 1970s." Critics said that when Detroit's automakers became too confident, that was the time when Japanese automakers began offering quality luxury vehicles. Eventually, said automakers have established a prominent name in the global auto arena. The brand loyalty grew stronger and up to the present time, loyalty, which can be reflected from its market share, is still growing immensely. Along with the rise of Japanese automakers is the improvement of European made cars. This has significantly contributed to the waning of popularity as well as loyalty to the vehicles manufactured by Detroit's Big 3. Another factor that triggered the big change is the intent of the young generation auto market to drive distinct vehicles from those of their parents. In the poll, 44 percent respondents said Japan makes the best autos, 29 percent said the United States and 15 percent said Germany. When asked which manufacturer makes the best autos, 25 percent said Toyota, 21 percent said General Motors and 17 percent said Honda. "The best cars are made in Japan or maybe a BMW from Germany," said Pat Goeglein, 51. "Those cars last forever. I have to get economy out of my cars." Toyota and BMW parts accessories are really making a big name in the American market not just on the other parts of the globe. Nevertheless, despite the support of the Americans to foreign automakers, analysts said there is still a good possibility that Detroit automakers could lure these enthusiasts to make return to them. The poll reflected that only 17 percent of current or potential car owners prefer to purchase foreign cars. In addition, 39 percent said they prefer to buy American cars and 44 percent said it makes no difference. The survey also reflects that support for purchasing American cars increases with age, but six in 10 of those 30 or younger said they were open to buying foreign cars or American cars. This means that the age bracket may be open to some efforts of Detroit automakers to win them over. Further, 85 percent of foreign car owners said they were very satisfied with their cars, while only 8 in 10 owners of American cars were very satisfied. George Maglione, an auto industry analyst, said the Big 3's share of the market has dropped from seven in 10 sold in 1998 to just over half sold in 2006. The decline in sales has increased as older people, whoa re deemed loyal to American cars, have aged and abandoned auto market.

About the Author: Corey Putton is a 28-year old bachelor from Pittsburgh, PA who has been around cars for the better part of his life. He now works online and writes all about his passion: cars. He is also a certified mechanic.

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