Why Are American Cars Still Not As Good As Foreign Cars?

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Today we have this story for you about cars-- American cars. And like most stories about American cars lately, it 's more tragedy than comedy, though there is some comedy in there, too. It 's the story of a factory in California that captures pretty much everything that 's gone wrong in the American car business in the last 30 years. And at the heart of the story is the question, why are American cars still not as good as foreign cars?

Come with me for just a half minute to the Detroit Auto Show, OK? David Champion is one of the umpires who calls strikes and fouls in the car business. He 's the senior director of Consumer Reports auto test division. He says that Ford has actually been improving for the last six or seven years, but Chrysler 's still in the dumps, the worst of all the car makers they study, and as for America 's biggest car maker, GM?

David Champion
The big Achilles ' heel with GM is their reliability. You look at things like the Cadillac CTS-- a fabulous car, I 'd take a CTS over a BMW or a Mercedes any day. But unfortunately, the CTS has been poor for reliability since it was redesigned in 2007. So they still quite haven 't got it.

Ira Glass
Why hasn 't GM got it yet? It 's not like this reliability problem just snuck up on them. It 's been nearly 50 years since it started losing market share-- 50 years since it began the slide from holding over half the US car market, back in the '60s, to just 22% today. Here 's an amazing fact. Even after Toyota 's

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