Is Ford a Foreign Car Company?

Ford Fusion: domestic or import?

Ford Fusion: domestic or import?

So take a guess: Are drivers who own foreign cars or domestic cars happier with their purchase?

It’s no big surprise to hear that a recent poll found that 77 percent of foreign-car owners are happy with them, versus 69 percent for domestic-car owners. 

Another interesting stat: 

Sixty-one percent of foreign-car owners plan to stick with their brand when it comes time to buy or lease a new car. Only 54 percent of domestic-car owners will stick with their brand. In other words, nearly half the people who own a domestic brand won’t buy that brand again. That’s a pretty dang telling statement. 

What the poll doesn’t give us are breakdowns by brand. I have to wonder if companies in bankruptcy (or entering bankruptcy) have skewed those numbers. Maybe 80 percent of Ford owners would buy another Ford, but only 5 percent of Chrysler owners would buy another Chrysler. 

I also have to wonder if the poll took into account where cars are built. Does the Ford Fusion count as a foreign car since it’s built in Mexico? Is the Toyota Tundra domestic because it’s built in America?

These days, the only thing that makes a company foreign or domestic is the location of its board room. And consumers really don’t care much about that.

Do you care whether your car was built in the U.S. or another country? Why?

-tgriffith

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  1. Randy
    May 29th, 2009 at 05:43 | #1

    Let’s get this straight– You say “Sixty-one percent of foreign-car owners plan to stick with their brand when it comes time to buy or lease a new car. Only 54 percent of domestic-car owners will stick with their brand. In other words, nearly half the people who own a domestic brand won’t buy that brand again. That’s a pretty dang telling statement.”

    What’s so “telling” about a difference with a tight enough percentage spread that it’s almost statistically insignificant? If anything, I was surprised at how low the owner loyalty numbers are for foreign nameplate owners.

    The satisfaction rates for foreign nameplate owners is also suspect, especially Toyota. It has been shown that foreign nameplate owners tend to over-rate their vehicles. When I was still at GM, we confirmed this by comparing Toyora Corolla and Geo Prism satisfaction and quality ratings, which showed a substantial spread. These vehicles came down the same assembly line and had the same parts. The only difference was some minor trim and the nameplates on the cars. That goes to show you how damaging perceptions can be even when there is no real basis for them.

  1. October 12th, 2011 at 10:14 | #1