That's real good news for GM and us future Solstice owners, but it will take quite a bit of time to change public perception. Half the households in America probably have a GM horror story that is real or exagerated. I know I do. It's also going to take Toyota and Honda quite a lot of screwing up to seriously degrade thier image. I doubt they will let that happen.
My brother has been a big Toyota fan, having bought a couple of Toyotas over the years with no problems. This year he bought his first SUV and he picked the Ford Expedition because it has some unique features that Toyota or any other brand doesn't have. He had heard good things about Ford and so took a chance.
Well having now had the Expedition for about 6k miles he discovered a small oil leak at the oil pan. Not a super big deal, and I'm sure the dealer will fix it, but having come from a Toyota background he finds this unexceptable and is already losing confidence in the truck. I know this seems extreme for a little oil leak, but it illustrates how good Toyota's reputation has been.
When GM wins a customer back from an import company, that customer is going to be kind of walking on egg shells because it is common opinion that US companies have bad reliability reps. That customer feels they are taking a chance on them. When I buy my Solstice I now I will feel this way. If they are going to advertise that their quality has gone up, they are going to have to back that up with a truly great product or they will sink right back down in public opinion. Nothing is worse for a consumer than that "I told you so" feeling.
Good point Aerodave. Returning import buyerswill definately have high expectations for the domestics. In fact, they may scrutinize their domestic car even more. A small pan gasket oil leak is certainly no big deal, and not a sign of overall poor quality or reliability. But your friend is suspicious about it because of the perception domestic quality is not good. So he sees this problem and suddenly thousands of domestic horror stories flash through his head and he wonders "what will be next." Their quality has been down long enough that people almost expect problems with them. Lets hope they keep building higher quality vehicles and reverse their image! atriot