The Detroit Three build plenty of high-quality cars. Buick, Ford and Lincoln scored above average in the latest Vehicle Dependability Study from J.D. Power and Associates, and Cadillac ranked third in the study's rankings. J.D. Power's three-month Initial Quality Study had Cadillac, GMC, Chrysler's Ram trucks and Chevrolet ranking above average.
But a Harris Interactive poll released Wednesday said car owners still view American-made cars as inferior. Of 2,634 U.S. adults polled 35% said they find the quality of such vehicles inferior to those of imported cars, outpacing the 24% who said they find import brands inferior to domestics. However, a larger chunk (42%) deemed quality about the same.
Recent studies don't help Detroit's case. Chrysler's brands ranked near the bottom of J.D. Power's three-year dependability study, though the automaker's sales chief told us last February that new owner Fiat brings a "maniacal" quality focus. Indeed, Chrysler's Jeep division ranked above average in Consumer Reports' latest 28-brand reliability survey, and it was the only Detroit brand to do that.