What Quality Gap?

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Direct link here: http://fastlane.gmblogs.com/ (page down to see it) Article pasted here: June 22nd, 2009 Cars & TrucksThe Case for GMVolt What Quality Gap? By Rick Spina North American Vice President, Quality Today’s quality announcement by J.D. Power and Associates suggest it’s time for perception to sling-shot its way into reality when people think about General Motors — especially when it comes to quality. When I hear or read disparaging remarks about GM vehicle quality, I get rattled because more often than not, the comments are not true. For all the naysayers out there … get this … in the J.D. Power & Associates 2009 Initial Quality Study, Cadillac, our flagship brand, improved by 19 percent since last year’s study and comes in third, just behind Lexus and Porsche. That’s pretty darn good considering brands typically improve around 5 percent a year. And Chevy, our volume leader, eliminates the quality gap to join company with very competitive import brands like Honda and Toyota. Simply put, the quality gap is history. Thirteen GM models placed in the top three of their segments, one less than Toyota. Two of our plants earned the Silver (Oshawa Car) and Bronze (Bowling Green, KY) quality awards. In fact, seven of the top ten plants in North America are GM plants, which is a true testament of our manufacturing capability. There are many third-party studies that report on vehicle quality and they all use various methodologies to gather data. We pay close attention to this particular study because it represents the voice of our customers. We listen carefully to what they say about their vehicle ownership experience. Their input is translated into engineering requirements, or specifications if you will, and incorporated into our continuous improvement initiatives. We’ve been working on improvements for a long time, we’re getting good results in many areas and admittedly we have work to do in others. I can assure you, though, quality is integral to everything we do. Quality doesn’t just happen, it is deliberately planned early in the design phase of vehicle development where aggressive targets are set for every phase of development, including vehicle assembly in our plants. Numerous quality check points, or ‘valves’ as we call them, allow for thorough reviews to make sure customer needs and expectations will be met. Of course, there are hundreds of validation tests of parts and components along the way to make sure that, when all the parts come together on the assembly line, our vehicles will not only look appealing but will last over the long haul. Getting it right by our customers’ standards drives the entire development process. By all of our internal measures, we’re getting the job done. And, our customers confirm that in the Initial Quality Study. But don’t take my word for it, check out J.D. Power’s news release and see for yourself. And if you don’t believe our customers, go to a dealership and try out our cars and trucks … then let me know what you think. Posted in Cars & Trucks, The Case for GM, Volt | 97 Comments
 
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Too bad people aren't buying vehicles now. I'm hoping my sunfire will last another four years. btw, GM basically announced our local GM plant in Spring Hill, TN will be closing. They spent nearly 1 billion retooling the plant to build the Chevy Traverse and other GM vehicles if needed. It just reopened in 2/08. It will be idled in Novemmber 09, then if sales for the SUV don't pick up. It will eventually be closed. talk about money being thrown away
 
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"Getting it right by our customers’ standards drives the entire development process." ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Not good enough. GM has lost many customers over the years because of the product and service GM provided. These people will, in all probabilty, never buy a GM vehicle again. This is just a fact of business.
 
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 Originally Posted By: GROUCHO MARX
"Getting it right by our customers’ standards drives the entire development process." ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Not good enough. GM has lost many customers over the years because of the product and service GM provided. These people will, in all probabilty, never buy a GM vehicle again. This is just a fact of business.
Remember the Vega!
 

PT1

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 Originally Posted By: GROUCHO MARX
"Getting it right by our customers’ standards drives the entire development process." ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Not good enough. GM has lost many customers over the years because of the product and service GM provided. These people will, in all probabilty, never buy a GM vehicle again. This is just a fact of business.
You have that right....I had 2 lemons in a row. I'm done with GM
 
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Yawn. Doesn't mean much to me. A bad initial quality rating would be bad, but a good initial quality rating doesn't necessarily equate to long term quality. And long term is what I car about far more. Problems under warranty are somewhat inconvenient. Problems after warranty are expensive. Wake me up when they're competing for the top spots in long term reliability.
 
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Problem was GM let the bean-counters run the company for too long. More concerned about how much each "unit" costs to produce rather than how much people like the new cars being made. You need a few folks to make sure you have enough cash coming in. After that, let the engineers and designers do their thing. Free the engineers! They belatedly seem to have realized that. Whether it's too late will tell or not. There are a few GM cars I'd consider buying. They're still too much into trucks/SUV's for my tastes.
 
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 Originally Posted By: ksJoe
A bad initial quality rating would be bad, but a good initial quality rating doesn't necessarily equate to long term quality. And long term is what I car about far more. Wake me up when they're competing for the top spots in long term reliability.
Agreed. The problem is that by the time long term reliability results are in, they are no longer relevant. These initial quality ratings are generally useless to buyers but important sales tools to manufacturers.
 
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I recently bought an ACDelco part and it was 0.0015 off spec, which could have allowed it to slip loose. Made in China. I returned it, went to a different store and paid three dollars more for one that was perfect.
 
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You didn't mention where the perfect fit part was made or what the part was. Inquiring minds want to know...
 
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The initial quality gap is shrinking. Long term quality is still yet to be determined. I think GMs problems go way beyond quality. Even if their cars were proven to have short and long term quality on par with the best in the industry, people still would not make a move to GM. Their products are getting better but in many ways are still behind the competition (including Ford). Years of terrible products and customer service have turned off generations of buyers. My father was a GM man for years. After years of horrible experiences he bought a Nissan in the 80s. He has made it very clear that he will never buy another GM in his lifetime. Many in my generation and younger have never even considered a GM product. The brand is completely irrelevant. They don't need to close the quality gap, they need to blow past creating cars that far exceed industry standards. The need to make exceptional products far above what is being offered by the competition or they need to follow the lead of Hyundai and sell their cars for a huge discount with a big warranty to gain loyalty. Many consumers have had years of great products and service from Honda, Toyota, Nissan, etc. Why would they change loyalty just because GM now claims to be just as good? GM got themselves into this mess (management and the UAW). I'm not sure they will ever get out.
 
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At one time, way back when, GM made some high quality vehicles. Not sure exactly when or why it happened (management, UAW, combination of both) but the quality went way down, and the same can be said about Ford (although I believe Ford in the past few years is trying harder to solve the problem). But, both of these companies should take a long hard look at Hyundai. Do you remember when Hyundai first came to America? What a piece of junk they were, and most thought they would not last. Well, look where they are at now. What ever they did, they did it right and the American car manufactures should take a long hard look at it.
 
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Wheel bearing made in Spain was the proper fit. Toyota and Honda started out making terrible cars. You used to see Civics stranded on the side of the road during every rain storm. They then made an effort to improve quality, while GM just kept producing the same garbage over that time period. Lately, GM has put out some very good cars, but it's too late now. The company needs to be dismantled, keeping the good divisions, and tossing the rest.
 
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Everyone mentioned what junk Hyundai, Toyota and Honda were when they first came to this market. How did they get a pass and were forgiven, but with GM and Ford it is too little too late?
 
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