Car Reliability by Region (Manufacturer):
History of Auto Maker Dependability
Which Makes Hold Up the Best?
Reliability has always been a relative subject as automotive manufacturers differ in quality of design, assembly and materials. However, in the opinion of our editors, some basics have held true for quite some time. Keep in mind that these are general observations, and carmakers with lesser reputations do come out with dependable models, and vice versa:
European manufacturers have held the upper hand in luxury and performance. Fit, finish and quality materials have produced some very impressive cars. But initial quality does not always hold up well over time, as a result, a lot of European models are thought to be susceptible to a higher than average number of repairs. And the higher cost of some imported parts can make things worse.
The big three U.S. automakers have their hands full right now. Economical upheavals have been brought on by factors such as too many models to produce efficiently, past disregard of the need for economically greener cars, and extreme labor costs (UAW). Quality and reliability of American made automobiles had already been a topic. There was a significant downturn following the late 60s muscle car era, but over the last decade we have seen improvement. Ford Motor Company seems to have a jump on the pack.