JD Power Study: Buyers Shying Away From Imports

JD Power Study: Buyers Shying Away From Imports

For decades there was a sentiment among US vehicle buyers of avoiding home grown brands, largely because of a perceived lack of quality and reliability compared with those from overseas, especially Japanese ones.

However, perhaps as a result of this latest recession and also a growing “buy American” sentiment, that trend appears to be reversing, with record numbers of car shoppers now choosing to avoid imported nameplates because of their origin.

An annual “Avoider” survey by JD Power & Associates illustrated that the share of buyers avoiding imports increased from 9 percent in 2011 to 14 percent this year, while the percentage of buyers avoiding Domestic vehicle brands dropped to its lowest level on record; six percent.

“For many years, domestics were largely abandoned but now it’s gone back and they’re competing head on with the imports,” said Jon Osborn, research director for JD Power in reference to the findings. “They [US automakers] are meeting the demands the American consumer is producing.”

Osborn also cites clever marketing slogans, such as Chrysler’s “Imported from Detroit” as having an impact on the results, though he did say that today as has been the norm for years, many new vehicle shoppers base their opinions regarding quality on “pre-conceived notions rather than concrete information and data,” which is probably why Jaguar was labeled the most avoided brand on the list, even though, according to JD Power’s own Dependability studies, the British luxury marque has ranked consistently among the top brands in recent years.

[Source: Automotive News]

  • Danny Tse

    Aren’t most so-called domestic branded cars “imports” from Mexico and Canada? And so-called foreign branded cars, like Toyota’s Camry, is really “American” in terms of labor and content of parts?

  • You are right. Quite a few Foreign cars are built in North America and many domestics are outsourced to Canada and Mexico. But it is all about brand image, and to most people, Foreign is foreign.


  • Scherp

    I always base it on wherever their HQ is or where the profits go. For example, people fear Chrysler has become Italian when it might proove to be the other way around. If Marchionne (CEO) moves the Fiat HQ from Turin, Italy to Auburn Hills (Detroit suburb), and we start cranking out Masaratis, Fiats, and Alfa Romeos – such as is the plan – then Fiat will have become American. Just like our grandparents when they moved here to start anew. We are the melting-pot afterall.