GM_down.jpg" alt="" />Mark Phelan of the Detroit Free Press tries to answer what seems to be a very common question about General Motors: if the automaker's vehicles have improved, why is it still losing market share and scoring low on independent surveys from sources like Consumer Reports?

Consistency seems to be the answer, writes Phelan. Or lack of it on GM's part. According to his article, while some of GM brands, such as Buick, and even some models, such as the Chevrolet Impala, score high on surveys by JD Power & Associates. But too many also fall below average. Toyota's vehicles, from its compact cars to its largest trucks, are consistent in their quality levels according to Phelan. The Japanese automaker, who may surpass GM this year as world's number one automaker, also has fewer platforms which is part of its philosophy in quality maintenance.

[More after the jump]

[Detroit Free Press via Indianapolis Star]
But GM's rising scores--despite some cynicism from Consumer Reports found in Phelan's article--indicate it has learned from its past mistakes. Now, for example, GM tests parts until they fail instead of a pre-determined limit. New vehicles especially, like the Chevrolet Malibu, have already seen benefits from these changes. Unfortunately, the public continues to remember the lower performing brands and models, like GM's minivans, and associates the entire automaker's line up with their past experiences.

What's your thoughts on Phelan's theory? Fire back in Comments.


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