USA: Lutz says GM will catch Japanese on quality in 2-3 years - report

By just-auto.com editorial team | 17 September 2002

General Motors vice chairman Bob Lutz has said that the company will match the quality of Japanese rivals Toyota and Honda in two to three years, but it will take longer for the public to acknowledge the gains, according to Reuters.

"In two to three years' time, we will match Toyota and Honda - not only in [initial quality surveys], we are going to match them in long-term durability and reliability," GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz told Reuters en route to a media event in Austin, Texas.

But he said it would take about five years for GM's improved quality to be fully recognised by the buying public, Reuters added.

As Toyota and Honda expand their vehicle lineup, and add more assembly plants in the United States, they will experience some of the quality problems that come with size, as GM has, Lutz told Reuters.

Lutz, a former top executive with Chrysler who joined GM last year, told Reuters that GM has "an army of guys" trained in problem solving to quickly determine the cause of any quality problem.

He said that GM has halved the time it takes to put the solution to any vehicle quality problem into production on the assembly line, and GM will halve that time again, Reuters added.

Lutz told Reuters that GM's improved quality is resulting in substantial savings on warranty costs.