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Re: Audi Price Cuts => Jap. v. Germ. cars . . .

> But aren't you comparing a *new* Japanese car to an *old* Audi.  All
> cars improved in reliability dramatically during the '80s; in fact, JD
> Power notes that the average number of defects per new car was 6 in
> 1980 and is now 1.22.  So you have to compare year by year, because
> statistically even the worst car now is 300% better than the average
> was in 1980.

A couple of days ago when I opened this "can 'o worms" I probably, by 
accident, implied this comparison.  *All* car manufactures have had to 
improve the quality and reliability in order to survive.  However, my 
point was that I don't think that the folks at Audi America have shaken 
off the so-so quality/reliability image of the late early/mid-1980's.  
Whereas the Japanese luxo makers began with strong quality/reliability image 
(withness the Lexus story).  Some have argued that the average consumer 
doesn't care about many of the innovative engineering features of the 
Audi line.  I agree, even though I'm drawn to Audi for this reason.  

Since almost all manufactures are now using the quality story in their 
communications it is no longer a distinctive message.  So, Audi must 
prove their products are of high quality/reliability through other means. 
(Such as JD Powers & ?).  I don't see a lot of evidence that this is 

It is also interesting to note that, and correct me if I have this wrong, 
Audi has a strong safety record in Europe (low death per crash rate) an 
yet this is not widely know in the USA.  This seems like a natural 
strength to play on.  A clever marcom pro ought to be able to 
figure out a way to put a positive spin on this but I yet to see it in 
print or on the TV nit . . .