Supply chain problems have meant some auto manufacturers needed to shutter assembly lines. The problem is so severe that even a strike among the truck drivers that deliver auto parts threatens to make industry inventory even smaller than they have been for a year. However, the primary reason for these inventory problems is a shortage of semiconductor chips used in the electronics and infotainment systems in cars.
Prices have been a barrier for people who can find the car they would like to buy. Dealers are raising prices above the manufacturer’s suggested retail price. Car executives have begun to complain that their own dealers are doing a disservice to their customers.
Drivers have recently held on to cars for record amounts of time. The average age of an American car on the road in 2021 was 12.1 years, according to IHS Markit. That is up from 9.6 years in 2002. One theory of why people hold these cars longer is that they are built better than a generation ago, which suggests that they are more dependable.
Car research leader J.D. Power releases its U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study each year. The just-released 2022 edition is the 33rd year the company has done the research.
The latest study looks at cars people bought in 2019, cataloging 184 problems in nine categories:
- Driving assistance
- Driving experience
- Features/controls/ displays
The primary yardstick of the study is problems per 100 vehicles. The research divides car brands into two categories, mass market and premium. Ironically, mass-market brands averaged 190 problems per 100 vehicles. For premium brands, that figure was a higher 204. The authors believe that the more elaborate electronics and infotainment systems in premium cars may be the reason.
The brand with the worst performance was Range Rover, the high-end sport utility vehicle brand, with a score of 284. The old British SUV brand is currently owned by Tata Motors, based in India. The second worst brand is Ram, which sells one of the three most popular pickups in America and competes with the Ford F-series and Chevy Silverado.
These are the most and least dependable car brands in America:
Source: J.D. Power
Click here to see which is the most dependable car in America.
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