17 November 2009

The Worst Of 2009

In various motoring fields, there are those that fall on their face for some reason. To make note of these failures, this is my 'Worst' list:

Least Reliable. Renault usually battles with Peugeot for this dishonour in being at the wrong end of lists when owners are quizzed about it.

Worst Value. Porsche. Just because they build cars well and have a loyal following does not make them value for money. It just proves that people are prepared to pay too much for something, if they really want it. Even wealthy ones.

Ugliest. Porsche. No, this isn't pick on Porsche day. Their cars are from a design going back to before we were born. Things have moved on but Porsche hasn't. The Cayenne is a shocker and the new Panamera an elongated 911. Ugggh. German car design is about engineering, not grace or style and Porsche sets the standard in this.

Weakest Brand. Lada or Proton. Ladas are not sold in NZ and Protons have just started trickling in. Neither have ever had a good name and poor quality is a hard tag to shake off.

Worst Selling. Saab. Sales just about everywhere are in free fall. Only two models in the range and both look about twenty years past their use by date. A new 9-5 is about to arrive and it looks good. Saab needs it to be.

Worst Prospects. Ssangyong. They make ugly vehicles, have enormous worker unrest and seem to be rudderless. I don't know what the future is for this brand, but things are in meltdown.

Most Over rated. Any German premium marque. They are generally unattractive and over priced. They are marketed strongly and well made, which seems to make their ugliness and cost worth it to many. Not me, however, the 'value for money' guru.

Least Safe. Any Chinese brand. Chery, Geely, Great Wall, BYD, Landwing (pictured) etc. Even when sneezed on, they crumple like tissue paper. You and your families' welfare has got to be more precious than to buy one of these. Currently, they sell in China and some emerging nations, although Australasia has started getting Great Wall Utes (Trucks in US). They may be cheap, but is anyone so desperate to buy a new car that they would risk their life and the lives of their families to have one?

The bottom line: What this list proves that even if my assertions are correct, it doesn't bear much co relation to how they will sell. It is all about perception and if you get that right, you can sell most things.

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