Politicians use more than CNN or USAToday polls to decipher the mood of the nation. Dick Morris is one such famous pollster who works directly for the candidate or office holder. 

In light of that, Ford's self-commissioned quality study makes sense. J.D. Power, Consumer Reports, and consumers have a right to ignore such apparent silliness. Hey, let Ford do their studies. They must adhere to rigid research and development standards with the aim for reliable, durable vehicles. This is understandable.

But the Ford Motor Company publishes the results of their study. Ford didn't "win" but the Ford man responsible for this hemisphere, Mark Fields, suggests that the three manufacturer's results were one and the same. 

In tests of 1,000 vehicles, Toyota and Honda scored 1,250. What does 1,250 mean? Things gone wrong. Bad things. Problems. Issues.  Ford's divisions received a score of 1,284. I learned to count a long time ago, and 1,284 isn't as good as 1,250. But Ford says it is, and will actually advertise it that way, too. 

GM scored a 1,367; Chrysler was way back at a very believable 1,744. It seems unlikely that General Motors' 83-point difference with Ford is anywhere near Ford's 34-point difference with the Japanese brands. 83 points, I'm sure, is waaaaay behind Ford. 34 points, however, is "statistically equivalent."  

Says Mark Fields: "We're tied with Honda and Toyota for best in the business. We now have the goods to back up the message." It figures that paying a company to give you "study results" that you'll be able to use in advertising results in numbers suitable for advertising. 

See this thing I'm standing on? Yep, it's a limb. I'm out at the edge. And I'm going to suggest that had Ford's score been "statistically equivalent" to Chrysler's, we would never have heard a thing about the RDA Group's research.


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