Saturday, October 15, 2011

Japanese Cars Are a Top Choice

There's a reason why Japanese cars are a top choice for most of the world's car-buying population. And it's because they have a proven reliability record borne out by consistently being in the top 10 of surveys and studies conducted by various organizations. In fact, a 2010 survey by US-based Consumer Reports, which has 1.3 million subscribers, showed that the top 9 most reliable car models for that year were made by manufacturers from that Asian country, with the 10th spot being occupied by Korean manufacturer Kia. Around the world, that same dedication to value and quality has enabled Japanese car manufacturers to corner significant chunks of the markets they have set their sights on.

The more fortunate among us will not even think to buy such ordinary cars, considering them mere conveyances that lack the requisite luxury, personality and soul. Compared to a Porsche or a Ferrari, or a Mercedes or Jaguar, that may be true. But most of the world's driving public do buy a Japanese car for exactly that purpose, which is to use their vehicles as daily drivers for going to work or as commercial vehicles for their businesses. And it must be noted that these car makers produce some pretty impressive performance cars, such as the Lancer Evolution, Subaru Impreza and Nissan GT-R. Like their efficiency-centric brothers, these Japanese cars give their owners solid performance at a lower price point compared to the more traditional manufacturers of high-end sports cars.

For competing manufacturers, it must be disconcerting to see Japanese cars on the top rank of reliability surveys year after year. By extension these value-laden cars are also less costly to operate because their built-in reliability allows them to go farther with less maintenance. This record of reliability is the result of the attention to detail and pride in their workmanship that the Japanese believe in. Unions hardly exist in these companies and an employee can more or less expect a guaranteed job for life when they enter the workforce of these companies. This sense of belonging translates to looking out for the company and its products. Unfortunately, this admirable ethic cannot be easily duplicated elsewhere.

If reliability were the only talking point, other manufacturers can simply tighten their quality control and give people who buy Japanese cars more attractive options in terms of design, performance and technology. But crucially, these car brands offer significantly cheaper models while consistently proving themselves to be more reliable. Is it any wonder then that when it comes to one of the more significant purchases of their lives, most of the world's consumers choose to buy a Japanese car?


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