Thank you foreign competition?

Although they still trail the Japanese, US automakers now outdo their European competitors on reliabilityââ?¬â??something that hasn’t happened in a quarter-century: To establish reliability, Consumer Reports asked subscribers to report problems in any of 14 areas, such as with the engine or electrical system, for vehicles up to 8 years old. For the 2003 model year, the industry average was 17 problems per 100 vehicles, down from 18 in the 2002 survey. The survey revealed that among cars and trucks less than a year old, the average problem rate for European brands was 20 per 100 vehicles — two more than for domestic brands. Seems that foreign competition doesn’t just give consumers new choices, it also spurs home grown companies to improve the choices they were offering. (Thanks to Peter Gordon)