@galant “Even” Kias. Kias, like Hyundais, were crappy cars at one time. Kia is now wholly owned by Hyundai and uses the same engineering and quality control standards. They are very good cars by today’s standards. Like Hyundais, the awful 1986 Hyundai Pony is a distant memory.
Public perception of car quality changes slowly; it takes about 10 years for a car to get a “good” image. Some people, especially those who don’t read much, keep relying on hearsay and miss improvements. Those, for instance, still believe Volvos are reliable cars! When my boss bought a Honda Civic for his wife in 1975, I knew it was a crappy car body-wise, since it disintegrated with rust with 2 years. Mechanically it was OK. After 10 years of improvements Civic were really good cars. Just follow the Consumer Reports rating to see how cars improve or, in some cases, get WORSE!!
General Motors introduced their “Mark of Excellence” campaign in 1964, the same year they CUT QUALITY to “just good enough” in many components. The rest is history.
There is an interview with the new GM president in the latest Business Week. She freely admits to the GM practice in the past of testing any component to survive in 5 years of average use!! She said they will be testing components much longer from now on. All these years foreign (Asian) manufacturers torture tested their components to make them last as long as possible in order to get the reliability and durability UP!!! Six Sigma quality control was pioneered by by the US electronic industry (Motorola) and Japanese manufacturers.
The term “continuous improvement” is just one word in Japanese “Kaisan”.
The names General Electric and Fridgidaire used to stand for quality and long life. Both deteriorated in appliances and electronics. GM sold of the division long a go; the name is now owned by Electrolux of Sweden.
GE sold of their division to Mabe of Mexico. We own a GE microwave, made before the sale of the division, and it’s a very mediocre (crappy) product. However, my late mother-in-law always believed anything GE was quality stuff.