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Buick Gets High Marks From Consumer Reports

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On: Fri, Feb 27, 2015 at 2:10PM | By: Gary P Garry

Buick Gets High Marks From Consumer Reports

The automotive industry has gone through some enormous changes over the last several decades. When you hear that statement, technology is going to come to mind, but that is not what I'm talking about here.

There was once a time when the American automobile manufacturers ruled the roost, especially here in the United States. Little by little, more and more imports started occupying the roadways, and this was accelerated when gasoline prices started to go up dramatically toward the end of the 1970s.

This trend continued, and, during more recent years, labor choices and trade agreements solidified the foreign foothold on American soil. As recently as 1998, the American "Big Three" held a 70 percent market share in the United States. By 2008, that figure was just 53 percent.

Admittedly, Japanese and German cars were getting higher marks with regard to reliability, and that was certainly a factor. The problems that American manufacturers faced were not all caused by unfavorable market conditions.

All of these factors contributed to the American automotive crisis that came to a head between 2008 and 2010. The economic downturn created a genuine existential threat, and the federal government had to bail out General Motors, Chrysler, and, to a lesser degree, Ford.

Since then, the companies have paid back much of the money, and they are on firm footing once again. To underscore the improvement, Consumer Reports has given the Buick a stellar Brand Report Card this year—seventh among all of the automotive brands that were rated, ahead of companies like Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Honda, and Acura. For the second consecutive year, Buick lead the domestic auto makers in the rankings.

Plus, three different American cars were named as Consumer Reports Top Picks: In the Sports Sedan category, the Buick Regal was first; the Chevrolet Impala took first. It's the first time so many American manufacturers have been there since the end of the 1990s, so it is a very telling achievement.

Though the Consumer Reports rankings are very encouraging with regard to the upward spiraling of the American automotive manufacturers, the Japanese car makers were extremely well-regarded. They had six models on the top 10 model list, and Lexus (which is a division of Toyota), Mazda, and Toyota were the top three positions.

I know that the lines are blurred with regard to where car components are manufactured, but I'm still heartened to see the improved strength of the U.S. manufacturers. The industry is an important part of our history, and it has fed a lot of American families for a lot of years.



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