Style and cost top reasons for car rejection

December 15, 2010

Style and cost top reasons for car rejection

The Detroit News

Toyota Motor Corp.’s massive safety recalls prompted many car buyers to scratch Toyota off their list this past spring, according to a study by J.D. Power and Associates on the reasons people avoid certain models or brands.

The top reasons buyers reject autos are poor exterior styling and high cost, J.D. Power said after surveying 25,000 people who registered a new vehicle in May.

Consumers also avoid vehicles reputed to have poor reliability, cars with unattractive interiors, as well as models built by manufacturers whose reputation has suffered, J.D. Power said.

Toyota brands gained in some areas, such as pricing and styling, but saw a rise in the proportion of customers avoiding its vehicles because of the harm to the company’s reputation. “We were right in the thick of the recalls” when the study was conducted, said Kerri Wise, director of automotive research at J.D. Power in Westlake Village, Calif.

She said she expected that reaction to subside, given Toyota’s efforts to get out the message that it was redoubling efforts to improve quality and ensure the safety of its vehicles.

Toyota has recalled 6.75 million vehicles in the United States this year, most linked to a risk of unintended acceleration. Its U.S. sales this year are flat in a market that has grown 11 percent.

“Vehicle owners were surveyed during a period of highly publicized recalls,” said Brian Lyons, a spokesman for Toyota Motor Sales in Torrance, Calif. “It is not unexpected that many potential buyers’ perception of Toyota’s longstanding reputation … might be influenced.

“Since that time, there have been many positive indicators showing that shoppers are again strongly considering Toyota.”

Over the past year, the Ford, GMC, Hyundai, Kia and Ram brands have improved in perceptions of reliability, Wise said.

But GMC and other General Motors Co. brands were hit by a drop in the company’s reputation after its spell in bankruptcy.

Unlike other J.D. Power surveys, the Avoider study does not generate a list of rankings. “There isn’t an official score,” Wise said.

Additional Facts
Losing the sale
The top five reasons customers cite for avoiding a vehicle or brand:
1. Exterior styling cited by 35 percent of prospective customers
2. High cost 23 percent
3. Poor reliability 20 percent
4. Unattractiveinterior 19 percent
5. Bad reputationof manufacturer 16 percent
Source: J.D. Power

Seniority Lists
Bargaining Committee

Mike Herron
Tim Stannard
Zone at Large – 1st
Danny Taylor
Zone at Large – 2nd
Mark Wilkerson
Joe McClure
Chad Poynor
Steve Roberts
Derek Lewis
Bill Cundiff
Kirk Zebbs
Don Numinen
Jay Minella
Danny Bragg
Chris Hill
Rashad Thomas
Keith Oswald
Chris Brown

1853 Officers

Tim Stannard
Mike Herron
Vice President
Darrell DeJean
Financial Secretary
Mark Wunderlin
Recording Secretary
Peggy Mullins
Trustee (3)
Jay Lowe
Dave Clements
Dave Spare
Sgt. at Arms
David C Spare
Ashley Holloway
E-Board at Large (2)
David Ryder
Steve Roberts

GM Unit Chair
Mike Herron
Leadec Unit Chair
Larry Poole
Ryder Unit Chair
Patrick Linck
AFV Unit Chair
Katherine McGaw
Retiree Chair
Mike Martinez