Few countries have such a strong organization to protect consumer rights such as Consumer Reports. This is why its rankings are so relevant when it comes to buying decisions. At their latest car brand report, some carmakers had a lot to celebrate, such as Mazda, the best of the pack after climbing three positions. Tesla lost five and ended up in the 16th.
According to CR, of all four models the company currently sells, only the Model 3 retains the recommended rating. All the Tesla lineup is classified as green, something that adds points to the overall result. CR also takes into consideration its road-test scores, safety, and owner satisfaction. Curiously, Tesla went well in all these requirements.
Apparently, a single factor made the company fall in the ranking: predictable reliability. We have already written how spearheading technology negatively affected all EVs tested by Consumer Reports on November 20, 2020.
The fact that Tesla lost so many places indicates the company urgently needs to improve, but it could be way worse. Lincoln fell 15 positions and is now in the 28th. Two Korean brands also have yellow lights blinking right in front of them: Genesis lost 13 positions, and Kia lost 10. They are respectively in the 15th and 19th places. Of those, only Kia sells electric vehicles.
We know correlation does not mean causation, but it is interesting to realize most companies selling electric cars also fell in the CR brand report. Porsche, Hyundai, Audi – five places as well – and Mini also dropped. The only exceptions were BMW and Nissan.
Among the companies with bad results that do not sell EVs, we have Lexus, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, Ford, Land Rover, and Alfa Romeo. These last two are also the last on the report, respectively, in the 31st and 32nd positions. Both also have a long-time record for low reliability.
Improving that aspect of brands to give customers a chance not to visit dealers or service centers is crucial. Making them find better service when they have no other option should be prioritized. Ironically, it would probably help companies achieve higher sales volumes way more than reducing prices. Will car brands ever realize that?