• Sep 27, 2007

The J. D. Power Escaped Shopper Study examines why customers look at one model of car, but ultimately buy another. The result: when it came to choosing a domestic or an import vehicle, shoppers chose one or the other for different reasons.

According to J.D. Power, almost 80 of buyers are "import intenders," who only consider foreign cars.) Buyers who chose American generally did so because they simply didn't want to buy an import, with price -- the lack of incentives, say -- being a secondary consideration. Import buyers cited issues with interiors, reliabibility, gas mileage, and resale value as reasons for not buying domestic.

[Source: J. D. Power]



Coming to the same conclusion that the Wall Street Journal did, a J. D. Powers research manager said "These findings point to continued difficulties for the Big Three in Detroit as they try to win back some of the market share they lost to the imports. It also suggests that too few U.S. consumers have caught on to the fact that cars and trucks offered by Detroit automakers are in many cases as good, if not better, than their rivals from Asia and Europe." The verdict was that Detroit can either spend more money to get customers, or "find vehicle specific opportunities, such as styling or promoting a positive dealer experience, that can have an immediate impact on consumer perceptions of the brand." Detroit, you have your mission, should you choose to accept it.


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  • 85 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      It's unfortunate but the american product is just not up to standards. Wether it's the lack of performance or that they just don't do small cars well. I will continue to do my part by buying "imports" made here & thats as far as it will go! Play for the team but don't let it bring you down with it!
      • 7 Years Ago
      i drive a honda civic (purchased from a dealership in Michigan, built in Canada), talk on a motorola phone, watch TV on a samsung television, listen to music on an iPod, work for toyota in Michigan, eat california produce, drink california wine, use a dell computer, wear clothes made in bangladesh and vietnam, and probably everything else i have is made in china. i bought all this crap in the U.S. from U.S. stores.

      so which country do "i support?"
      • 7 Years Ago
      Great point.
      Give me a car that I want to spend my money on and I'll buy it. Don't really care where or who built it.
      I gave these so called domestics 7 chances trying to be patriotic and they failed me every time. Now I stick to what I know is better and have been happy. So unless the domestics find some poor suckers to test their cars and pass the word around and have at least 10 years to back their claims up they can go jump off a cliff for all I care. Until then I'll stay with Lexus and Toyota.
        • 7 Years Ago
        We have a fleet of 30 cars and trucks that on average go 250K for the trucks and 150k on the cars. In 22 years we have replaced about 5 engines and two trannys. This is over 70 cars/trucks all American! I don't love American but since i live here I try to spend my money here. If you have had 7 bad cars in a row you must beat the hell out of the things you own or you treat thing worse then my drivers! I think people should be honest when posting or just tell us what import company you work for.
        • 7 Years Ago
        RealityCheck
        I do agree with you in that I beat the hell out of my cars. I do drive them harder than most people. I'm at the track at least once a month and do drive the cars very hard. To date I own a 1972 Camaro that I love and will never ever sell it. But that is beside the point. I drove my past cars hard just like I drive my current cars. I don't treat one car any better or worst than the other.
        In comparison, my father is a die hard Lincoln fan and will not buy anything but a Lincoln. He babies his cars and hardly ever drives them hard yet his car seems to take more trips to the dealer in a year than I would in 2.
        My brother is a Ford fan but he agrees with me that my cars have lot fewer issues than his but he will buy only Ford. To each it's own but I like to drive these things than fixing them.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I'm on my fifth Cadillac, second Suburban, had two Impala's, one Buick Lesabre, One Pontiac Gran Prix, two Ford mustangs, One Camaro, One Vette, seven pickups including Ford Chevy and Dodge, and one Tacoma. All have been trouble free except for two. The 95 dodge pickup blew the engine at 155K, and the Tacoma's bed rusted almost off the frame after four years and had to replace the tranny after 41K. I'll stick to the domestics thank you.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Nationalism is a disgusting, morally bankrupt philosophy.

      Saying "I will only buy American" is morally equivalent to saying "I won't buy from a black dealer". Either way, it makes you an immoral scumbag.
        • 7 Years Ago
        > Nationalism is a disgusting, morally bankrupt philosophy.

        Multiculturalism run rampant.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I can understand where everyone is coming from, and some good arguments there (oh except Preston M - i'm not sure where he got that delusional idea...).

      However, I see no one has considered the exchange rate at present and that the dollar is currently so low that foreign automakers (especially European ones) are losing money on every car they ship here and sell.

      Last time I checked the exchange rate was 1 pound = 2.003 dollars and 1 Euro = 1.44.. dollars. So aren't the profits technically not going to foreign carmakers since they are losing money on the cars they sell to us at present? I can think of the Astra as being a prime example.

      On another note, its ignorant to believe that you have to buy American simply because you are American. We live in a free country that is democratic and capitalist. So getting our bang for the buck is well within our rights, and can only improve the industry as it forces automakers to step up their game.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Seeing as 54% bought foreign, should the title not have been '"Buy Foreign" still sways US shoppers?'
      • 7 Years Ago
      Leftists find it chic to hate their own country. They have no respect for their fellow man and his contribution to society. It's this misplaced hatred that results in the Big Three's unwarranted struggle, as they build superior cars to the Japanese. Superior in value, superior in reliability and superior in corporate morality. German car companies do not have the parasitic relationship with America as does Japan, for their country actually buys American cars and cars sourced from American subsidiaries.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Wow, is that a racist WWII caricature of a Japanese in your avatar? Are you a RACIST, sir? You sure sounded like one so I'm going to assume you are a bona-fide anti-Asian racist, like many others who posts here. Please at least be honest about your racist leanings and stop pretending you're a normal human being.

        As for the topic here, I actually considered buying many domestic product even thought I've owned mostly imports (my first junker was an Escort). However, after reading the racist BS by the domestic fanbois like willem (that's a great Aryan name, btw), I have decided to never, ever buying a product from the big 2.8. I can't stand racists and since these racists have made promoting domestic cars as one of their racial crusades, I can't stand being in agreement with them. It's the same reason why I can never buy a VW after I saw that photo of Adulf Hitler (your hero, willem?) riding on back of that Bug convertable.

        The domestic racist fan-tards has turned the whole domestic auto industry sour for me, so I will never buy an domestic car or truck just to spit them. Every time I have a friend considering domestics, I will show them posts from here by these racist douche bags. Y'all are doing a heck of a good job trying to promote domestic cars while being a racist bastard. Detroit should stop paying those UAW folks and give you guys 100K a year.
        • 7 Years Ago
        The fact that asian governments place restrictions on American cars, engage in currency-manipulation, while encouraging illegal operations such as dumping ought to be enough to prove immorality, for starters. Look on the streets of Tokyo or Seoul for any American cars, you will be hard-pressed to find any. Oh, sure, there might be a few european luxury cars, but even that is infinitesimal compared to how many domestic cars they have over there. Those governments have a choke-hold on their respective markets and there's plenty of nationalism and pride over there. On the other hand, we Americans bought a disproportionate number of their cars. Have we no shame? Many posters on here freely admit their treachery against their own country's economy and well-being.

        As for value, American cars are priced right, often well below Japcars that cost more (tell me *that* doesn't affect resale value) and have fewer features and smaller engines. The question of reliability has been answered: American cars are every bit as reliable as evident in recent polls and study results. ToyMoCo hides behind its past successes of reliability to foist its inferior product on the unsuspecting public. Broken ball-joints, sudden acceleration problems, broken camshafts, falsified MPGs (still!), dying CPUs in Priuses, engine sludging and other well-document cases of cover-up and general malfeasance.

        US automakers have addressed all of the issues confronting their product, now it's time that Americans give them the fair shake they deserve for stepping up to the challenge. Kick some tires, you might find yourself pleasantly surprised that America does make great cars and trucks.
        • 7 Years Ago
        >Superior in value, superior in reliability and superior in corporate morality.

        That's the meat and potatoes of your argument... But where does it come from? Your personal experience? Surveys? Statistics? Your opinion?
        • 7 Years Ago
        I hope you know World War II ended 60 years ago.

        The Japanese no longer "dump" cars. That sent them spiraling into bankruptcy. They don't buy American cars since they don't have anything they want. Their domestic product is the "superior" domestic, so they buy domestic. As for the Germans, those cars are usually status symbols. LHD = status.

        With that said, I'd like to mention at this point that my father and his family had a "buy American" stance ever since the end of the war. The Japanese product was something basically unmentionable in the household. It wasn't until he was repulsed by the American car industry (poor quality, if I remember correctly) did he switch to imports. Did I also mention that I'm Asian too?

        Oh well, I guess I better go tend to my Tojo shrine or whatever Asians are supposed to do.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Glenn. In the example you cited above, if an American consumer buys a Honda Accord, he or she BENEFITS because he or she gets an excellent product for his or her hard-earned dollar. Competition benefits the consumers us better products for our money. Economics 101.
      • 7 Years Ago
      To say "Buy American to Support America" just to fend off Imports or Foreigners away is just plain ignorance. We all buy cars for reliability, price, style, or whatever and if an American car or Import is awesome according to you, then so be it. Just shut the hell up with the import vs. domestic if you can, if not, please shut the hell up or find someone to argue with.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I totally agree with you.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I agree with you as well. I think that to be totally "American" in a global economy is to vote for the product with your hard earned US Dollar. This is the purest form of democracy available to an "American" today. I will be buying a new or fairly new vehicle next year. I live in Michigan and I am a member of the General Motors "family," but I will still look at all my options and vote for the car I find the best in my eyes with all of the options in front of me. If Ford happens to be the best of my options, then I will vote for them, but if it happens to be Honda that is all right as well.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Absolutely. It is also an outdated concept - globalism, like it or not, is how things are now. It's getting to the point where a good is just a good... and there won't be "american" goods or "chinese" goods or what have you.

        Eventually, origin will become moot. The world is getting smaller - and I think a lot of people are scared for no reason.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Last time I bought American it wound up being Mexican, or is that a State now too like Canada is?
        • 7 Years Ago
        Do not disrespect the sovereignty of our neighbors to the north (and south).
        • 7 Years Ago
        Chuck U. Farlie,
        That's not exactly the kind of attitude we need right now. I'm a fan of irony and sarcasm but c'mon buddy, show some patriotism.

        Icetraxx,
        next time you're up in Canada I'll treat you to a Flu shot.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Mikeeee

        Flu shots

        If last year was any indication (as you probably guessed, that's what I'm referring to) then I'd get in line now.
        And it's gonna be a long line.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Sorry, but as a Canadian I couldn't help from making fun of myself and now apologizing politely!
        • 7 Years Ago
        Patriotism?

        Hmmm, seeing how America is generally built upon a free-market economy, how about we show patriotism by buying products that offer the best feature/reliability for the buck? Thus increasing competition among companies which means better products for lower prices?

        Or does patriotism mean "supporting our economy" no matter how cruddy the "domestic" companies are?

        The UAW strike illustrates how ill-conceived domestic buyers are. GM could care less about jobs for Americans as long as they can stay afloat and avoid the red-tape. They are a business first and foremost.

        Should GM be labeled as unpatriotic if they hesitate to pay an American to tighten lugnuts all day for $45+ per hour?







        • 7 Years Ago
        Hye, SPG

        Would that flu shot be this year or do I have to make an application for next year??????
        • 7 Years Ago
        Joe: ":Hmmm, seeing how America is generally built upon a free-market economy, how about we show patriotism by buying products that offer the best feature/reliability for the buck? Thus increasing competition among companies which means better products for lower prices?"

        Sounds great. How about you limit your buying habits to domestics, as well as only import products whose country of origin also respects the so called "free market" you love. If the Japanese and other protectionist countries bought our products, your point about free markets might have validity.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I was actually thinking to myself how ironic it would be if you were Canadian.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Has anyone thought of one thing, Why the Japanese have a close market to
      American cars (any major import)? Last count they buy 95 percent from their own makers.
      This is why GM has gotten out of the smaller Japanese cars, it wasn't
      working after 20 plus years and Subaru is now the proud toy of Toyota.
      So don't talk about protectionism if you don't know about Globalism. Also GM and Ford sell in Europe so well because we helped rebuild them after the war and they look at them as being domestic at this point. Last I saw we have a falling dollar and we won't be importing soon anyway if our dollars keeps falling.
        • 7 Years Ago
        "Why the Japanese have a close market to
        American cars (any major import)?"

        Please tell us how this is fact. People are buying imports in the US because they are not like American vehicles. People in foreign countries are not buying American cars because they are like American cars. None the less, you have evidence that it is law in Japan not to buy these unwanted cars. Please show us the actual law. ( preferably not in Japanese)
      • 7 Years Ago
      My question is less about where anything is made and more about the underlying thoughts of the stranger standing next to you:

      What are you actually saying when you think "X" brand is better than another? To me, when someone says "Japanese cars are better" I hear "The stranger standing next to me could be the moron that made my last car an unreliable, ugly, worthless POS".

      When I hear "Nothing but American to me" sounds like - "I trust the person next to me to make something that I want to buy and I trust it will be a good product"

      Funny thing about other countries: Their sense of national pride comes a lot from the trust in their fellow citizens. Fact is your don’t hear much about blanket mistrust of other nation’s confidence in their home products. If that was the case, Toyota would saying "We don't trust Japanese parts markers to supply our company" or BMW might say "German engineering is a lost art in Germany"

      If you hate American cars, then you are actually saying you dislike the American auto worker: the CEO, salesman, engineer or assembly worker. Either way, you could very well be bashing your neighbor or at the very least that person is an American Citizen. I wonder why that is. If the bashing is misplaced then why is it so prevalent?

      Makes me wonder what is the effect of losing faith or trust that your fellow citizen is unworthy of your hard earned money because they are, in your mind, more than likely a lair, cheat, slacker or incompetent.

      Curious is that, politics aside, in Japan and Germany, the average citizen there thinks Americans citizens are hard working, talented, creative and our personal products are sought after. Mostly, I remember the people I met there to be positive and commentary of Americans they never met and confused how a country full of people who do so much can elect such poor leaders.

      Oh, and just in case the obvious fact was lost: 54% of potential buyers who are Import Intenders are a recent change of attitude. I'd rather hear a report about those 54% saying why they think that way and the justifications of their intensions.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Hey, you're right! I DO hate the American worker! I think that UAW members get paid way to much to do a mundane, boring job that could be completed by a robot, and from everything I've heard most of them are dropouts and screwups who come to work drunk! No thanks! I'd rather get a car assembled by people who are happy with their jobs without a union, because if they act like morons, they are actually FIRED.
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