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Bad news for Ford Motor Company; the 2011 Consumer Reports Annual Auto survey released on 25 October showed that Ford cars had dropped to 20th position out of 28 major car brands when it came to reliability.

The survey is based on the experiences of 1.3 million subscribers of Consumer Reports magazine — which covers a whole range of products and services since 1936. Japanese brands took nine of the top 10 spots, led by Scion, Lexus, Acura, Mazda, Honda and Toyota.

In earlier years, Ford's reliability has been close to that of the Japanese brands — it was ranked 10th last year — but three new models, the Fiesta (this model is sold in the Indian markets too), Focus and Escape ranked below average and led to the drop this year.

The survey says that in the first year or two, this is common for new or revamped models. So who is at the bottom in this year's reliability rankings? Jaguar, Porsche and Audi.

(This story was published in Businessworld Issue Dated 07-11-2011)