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The trend of Japanese automaker dominating U.S. and European automakers in long-term quality has taken hold in Germany as it has in the U.S.

In a repeat of last year's Power report in Germany and this week's U.S. report, J.D. Power's Vehicle Dependability Study was dominated by Toyota, which received the highest overall rating, scoring 844 points out of 1000. Next in the overall rankings were Mazda, Subaru, and Honda. BMW, the best-ranked European brand, took the fifth spot.

Toyota topped the U.S. study, released on Tuesday.

Toyota's Corolla, Avensis, and RAV4 models also took the top ratings in the lower medium-sized car, upper-medium, and sport-utility categories. Porsche's 911 was the top-ranked sports car. The Mazda Premacy was the best minivan, and the Honda Jazz was the best-ranked small car.

The survey polled customers of vehicles registered in late 2001 and early 2002 about their ownership experience over three years. In the luxury class, PSA Peugeot Citroën's 607 sedan was ranked at the top, followed by the BMW 7-Series and 5-Series. The performance of the 7-Series was surprising given the early problems of the car's iDrive electronic controller. But Europeans have been far less critical of the system than Americans.

Mercedes and Volkswagen continue to disappoint in this survey much to the consternation of proud German car executives who don't like to be bested by the Japanese on their home turf. Mercedes-Benz fell out of the top ten in overall customer-satisfaction after its score declined. Mercedes has been bothered by problems and complaints in its on-board electronics, and has lately been subtracting some electronic gizmos that were adding little to ownership experience and costing them points on the survey.

Volkswagen posted a score of 768, an improvement over 2003, but good enough for only 20th place. VW was far below its own down-market Skoda brand, which was ranked ninth with a score of 798.

GM's Opel showed the most improvement among all automakers in Germany, increasing its score fourteen points to 790, beating the industry average of 786. Opel was still ranked twelfth overall. -Jim Burt

http://www.thecarconnection.com/index.asp?article=7276&sid=173&n=156
 

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:woot: :woot: I wonder how Opel is compared to the other GM manufacturers here in the states...
 
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