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A recent survey by J.D. POWER places Lexus at the top in Vehicle Dependability survey. Lexus also scored the top honors in Brand reliability. The Japanese luxury car brand surpassed industry heavyweights like Porsche and Audi to claim the grass crown.
The survey goes on to show the sentiments of buyers. It further elaborates on the command the Japanese cars enjoy in the current automobile market. May it be Corolla, the car that established Toyota in the United States. Or Civic the reliable car that carved a niche for Honda. Civic also ushered the American automobile industry into the era of the decade defining Honda Accord.
Today Toyota Corolla is the bestselling nameplate in the world. Toyota corolla has clocked 37.5 million units in sales. On the other hand, Honda Civic and Accord have clocked 18.5 and 17.5 million units respectively. Both the automobile companies along with others from Japan have turned into giants today. These are mammoth achievements when one considers the humble beginnings and the obstacles faced by them.
Number of reasons are being cited for the rise of Japanese automobiles in the market. Some of them being the reliability, the utilitarian concept of the car or even fossil fuel shortage. While the oil crisis of 1970s may have assisted the Corolla’s rise to the top in the U.S. Toyota Corolla was already established in U.S markets by 1970.
The reason it could persevere was not the embargo alone. It was the no-frills, no-nonsense approach that made the cars of Japanese origin last in the markets. Other factors include understanding the geographical needs of the people. For example the Japanese cars survived in India because they struck a chord with the local needs. Even today, a Japanese collaboration holds 47% of the automobile market of India.
The internet is rife with examples of owners of Corolla or Accord. The owners write about the comparison of maintenance costs. They write about the no-nonsense framework of the Japanese cars too. All these go into establishing the Japanese cars as trustworthy steeds with a grounded approach. The Japanese car industry responded to the sentiments of the buyers. They were the first to tap into the changing needs of the buyers. This established the Japanese cars as the everyday cars of the working class.
The cars were practical, grounded and easy on the pocket. They defined the consumer habits of the 70s and the 80s. These utilitarian examples then slowly started earning laurels for themselves. The west slowly but surely then accepted Japanese cars for their unique features.
The Japanese automobile industry evolved and furthered forayed into the consumer markets. It launched brands such as Lexus or infinity to compete for luxury car customers as well. The 80s and 90s saw a surge in the luxury brands from the eastern manufacturers.
The markets of west were flooded by luxury and high performance cars from makers like Honda, Mazda and Toyota. The initial delves did leave much wanting. And the earlier attempts were more of a miss than a hit. But as was the philosophy that had established them, the Japanese manufacturers evolved. They studied about the buyer’s sentiments and responded by prime examples.
The luxury cars like Legend by Acura sold 55,000 unit in the first year of its sales. The Lexus ES 300, another example was named by J.D power as the best luxury car in initial quality for six times. The recent survey of J.D power that puts Lexus at the top is just a corroboration of the market and the buyer’s sentiments. It goes into further fuelling the debate of American cars vs European cars vs Japanese cars.
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