There are lots of reasons why people buy cars, from a change in circumstances, such as becoming a parent, to retiring. But when it comes to why people keep their cars and stick with the same brand year after year, there’s one factor that has the biggest influence: reliability.
“All we need to stay in business and grow,” he said, “is to have more people and higher incomes.”
"It was unbelievable," Miller recalled of his first months at Ford in the 2003 interview with Automotive News. "During World War II they lost money on cost-plus contracts. Now that takes some skill, to lose money on a cost-plus contract."
Why? Well, while the Sierra was fed by an old-fashioned carburettor, the Cavalier had that 'i' for injection in its name. This gave it the legs not just over the Sierra but also the Fiat Croma and Mazda 626 we ran it against, vanquishing their top speeds with a heady 120mph flat out and streaking from 0-60mph in 8.9sec – one second clear of the Sierra and two whole clicks quicker than the Croma.
Vision to the side and back is scary at first but you get used to it, mostly thanks to a convex mirror insert on the outside rearviews. You can’t see behind you unless you’re backing up and looking at the backup camera, and even then the screen is really hard to see. Some backups were done on faith. Give a wide berth to everything within about two blocks.
It’s not that there’s no droning sound as the Accord accelerates, but Honda has done a good job of tamping down that irritation. Yes, we prefer the conventional 10-speed automatic that Honda uses with the turbocharged 2.0-liter engine, but Honda’s implementation of a CVT is among the best.
For each fault, we asked the owner to identify time spent off the road using categories ranging from less than one day to more than a week. We also asked them to tell us how much the repairs cost, from being fixed under warranty for free to more than £1500. This information was weighted according to the severity of the fault; those that cost the most and kept the car off the road the longest were penalised most.
When he visited the company's finance department, he was shocked to discover old-school bookkeepers tracking piles and piles of bills divided into categories: A, B, C and D. The mostly older men couldn't keep up with the bills and were simply estimating how many millions of dollars were represented per foot of paper.