SLICK gimmicky advertising can bring in the buyers.
Probably no recent advertising campaign can beat the “I bought a Jeep” ads. They are the ultimate image-over-reality advertisements. Driving across The Nullarbor or in outback Queensland we have seen few Jeeps, and perhaps here’s why.
Last week in Melbourne I was reading the Herald Sun in a cafe, when a headline jumped out at me. “A bit Jeep and nasty,” the pun-laden headline read. Fiat-Chrysler Australia (FCA) has been hauled before the ACCC after unsatisfactorily handling more than 1000 complaints from Jeep buyers between January 2013 and December 2014.
Most extreme complainant was Ashton Wood, who last October “used heavy machinery to crush his Jeep before setting it alight,” the report said.
While that level of frustration may seem extreme, some buyers had complained that they had waited “up to three months for spare parts to fix faults”.
The ACCC has promised a multi-million dollar fine and further court action if FCA doesn’t fix Jeep faults soon. Read on to see why Ashton Wood may yet be shown to have found the best solution!
In America cybersecurity researchers took control of a Jeep, demonstrating that hackers could gain remote control of the Jeep’s engine, steering and other systems. Fiat-Chysler was forced to recall 1.4 million vehicles to install new software.
Fiat-Chrysler USA has a track record of not fixing faults. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has required the company to pay up to a record $105 million in fines and penalties for delayed responses to safety problems. Recalls were late and repairs slow.
In addition they have been ordered to “buy back” up to 500,000 vehicles “with suspension problems that could lead to a sudden and unexpected loss of steering control.”
My point is that “imported” doesn’t necessarily mean better.
Last week Holden announced the latest Commodore update. The VF model has been selling well, and in fact my brother bought one a couple of months ago. He has owned several Commodores, but says his new VF is the best car he has ever owned.
Ford announced last week that “given high demand for the Falcon sedan and Territory SUV”, production will continue until October 7 next year. Our “new” Ford Territory is now two years old, and is a great car. There are three Territories in our family circle. Each one is an excellent vehicle. One of my sons traded his Falcon XR6 to buy a top-of-the-line Falcon G6E. It is a beautiful car.
Toyota Australia recently released the new model Camry and Aurion, including the keenly priced hybrid Camry. I tested a hybrid Camry for a DA story, and found it to be a very comfortable and powerful car, economical as well. No wonder taxi ranks everywhere have hybrid Camrys.
My point is that Australia is still producing excellent vehicles. Production of motor vehicles in Australia isn’t finishing because the Government is shutting down factories, as Bill Shorten has been saying. Australians are choosing to buy imported vehicles. Why?
Not all imported vehicles are worth buying. The Australian-made cars in my extended family have performed well. My advice is to at least look at Aussie cars before contemplating buying an import.
Maybe “I bought a Jeep” could be followed by “And drove it to the ACCC”.
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