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WHAT DRIVES JOHN CADOGAN?

Hello everyone. Bob Aldons from Car Business here with another opinion on the state of the auto industry in our fair country. My missive today is about a chap named John Cadogan. Below are some take-outs from a recent email received from his website, www.autoexpert.com.au

I’m not sure what drives John but have a read of his comments. (I’ve fixed some of his  typo’s just to make reading easier).

If you are thinking about buying a Ford or a Holden, aVolkswagen, Audi or Skoda, a Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Fiat orAlfa Romeo … think again.

Ford and Holden are terrible at customer service, and have a great many lemons in the market right now, plus a track record of letting customers down, badly. Plus, the local factories are soon to close, the brands are declining in popularity, and that adds up to less future relevance and poor resale prospects. Holden is sourcing many products from one of the worst car factories in the world – the former Daewoo factory now called GM Korea to get some of the stench off it.

The Volkswagen Group (Volkswagen, Audi, and Skoda, basically) has always had poor reliability and worse customer service – especially since the GFC. Add to that the terrible emissions cheating scandal, and the risk factors are completely unacceptable.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles – Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Fiat andAlfa Romeo – is, according to the ACCC, the most complained-about car company in Australia (as a proportion of vehicles sold). Massive series of customer service failures, plus poor reliability, a major multi-million-dollar corporate malfeasance case before the courts and sales in the sewer. Doesn’t sound like a solid prospect to me.

Honda and Nissan – both really are asleep at the wheel. They’ve been overtaken by Mazda and Toyota.

The small players – Citroen, Volvo, Peugeot, MINI, Infiniti, Proton, Smart, Ssangyong, LDV, Haval, Chery, Great Wall: Some of these are either way to new, and/or too poor in quality to be worthy of your attention. Resale value is intensely questionable. And the established names – Citroen, Volvo, Peugeot and MINI – just don’t sell in sufficient volumes. That means inadequate competition among dealers, poor local support, low parts inventories and low levels of demand when it comes time to sell or trade. And Infiniti might be what Lexus is, one day … but not in the foreseeable future.

If you did take them to heart, your shopping list for your next new car would be Mazda, Toyota, and Hyundai. So what are the everyday Mum and Dad buyers to think of all this? He’s blacklisted 24 of the 55 brands available on the market in Australia in this email.

And I know, from previous emails, he doesn’t like Mercedes. So it’s probably down to 3 or 4  brands – Mazda, Toyota, Hyundai or Kia. So let’s think about these options. And typically, to profile these buyer types, you’ll be buying a Japanese or Korean car, you’ll be bald or heading that way, over 50 and angry.

Get a life John. I enjoy driving my Volkswagen Amarok; my wife loves her Mitsubishi ASX and on weekends, I quite like the pleasure of taking my Alfa Romeo 4C or Alfa Spyder out for a run. Oh, and I have a couple of motorbikes too. So in your opinion, I’m a dickhead?

Thankfully, we’re not all like you John. We have a penchant for a variety of cars, whether they’re good bad or somewhere in between. I know BMW owners who hate their car but love their dealer. Same goes for Audi owners, Lexus owners, and even Jeep owners. God help Jeep owners because no one else will. They hate getting their vehicle wet, muddy, dirty and dented, but funny enough there isn’t much of an alternative to a good old Wrangler. God Bless America.

And Volkswagen?  You and the rest of the so-called media experts will ultimately be partway responsible for the demise of the brand. So they did a sneaky one and tried to cheat the Californian EPA. And no doubt the same body will justify the belching polluting Ford, Dodge and GM utes won’t they? Of course – if it’s made in America then it’s ok. But try to bring in an economical diesel and you’ll be smashed.

I don’t disagree with the sentiment on the way that VW went about it. Dishonesty isn’t the right thing in any business, let alone the auto industry. Perhaps the mind-numbing attention to this alleviates the real danger with things like faulty airbags – no word of running Takata, and all the manufacturers who used their bombs out of the USA is there? Autoguide.com’s Chris Cole suggested that Volkswagen buys back all the 700,000 cars affected – yea as if that’s going to happen.

And I know that John has opinions on a lot of things, and that’s fine. But let there be more than four brands in Australia that every day people can buy – PLEASE.

This Post Has 39 Comments

  1. Peter O says:

    What a sad apologist you prove to be.
    John C speaks plainly & very frequently in his presentation states “In my opinion”, admittedly this is perhaps driven by a desire to avoid a court action.
    VW is a classic example of corporate poor behaviour. Yes they cheated & yes the Australian internet is full of very sad stories of VW’s abject failures to remedy defects. For this you may choose to forgive but then remember that only in the US are they being forced to genuinely make amends which will cost billions. In Australia – “FO customer”
    Look you appear to know about cars & the car industry, so I assume you can make your own purchase decisions. Go drive your Alpha R, your wife I am pleased to hear enjoys the Amorak.
    No problem, however for ordinary folk John presents an alternative view, & no-one has to accept it. like it or even watch his videos.
    For my part I find them entertaining, fairly accurate & open to challenge which I note no car company has dared to do.

    • Well said! I too enjoy his videos here in Seattle. I especially look forward to Nutfest Friday.

      • Bear in mind that his comments on customer service, dealership quality etc. apply to Australia only (as he himself notes on occasion). I try to focus on the technical comments only.

    • taz says:

      I totally agree,

      Some of the videos i think he goes a bit far such as the fishnet stockings lol. However to me all of these bozo car manufacturers are fair game if they are going to treat customers like crap.

      I don’t entirely agree with him about Subaru though as the 2016-2017 Subaru Liberty 3.6R is a pile of dog poo and i got rid of mine as soon as possible.

  2. Alvento says:

    John C is right on one thing at least as far as I’m concerned. VW is and has always been unreliable and overpriced garbage! The number of Golfs you see on the road in Sydney proves the sheep mentality this city has become. Usually driven by would be’s that have no idea about cars.

  3. Titus says:

    John’s an intelligent person, and I guess he’s an intelligent person that had enough of it, that is, stupid people with opinions, low quality products (cars) advertised as great deals, lies everywhere, and so on, so on. I like this guy. Yeah, ok, his sexually related jokes are a bit too far and not quite necessary, but leaving that aside, he’s right. Personally, I hate when the dealer starts with the 8 inch display on the dashboard instead of telling me what in the world is that car made of – I’m not buying a freakin’ tablet, I’m don’t give a s… if that car is capable or not of providing me with an internet connection – I’d like to know something about the engine, for instance. And I also don’t give (another) s… if it’s pumping out 200 bhp at… 6500 rpm – simply because I won’t rev that much: in normal use a car doesn’t need more than, say, around 40 ponies.

  4. John says:

    He’s the Donald trump of the automotive media world. Such a baby booming wanker

  5. Darren Papa says:

    To Bob, well said l totally agree. But l have to say that John Cadogan is such a tool… Does he think he lays Golden Eggs when he craps? Nothing against Asians but he must have an Asian wife and was bullied by one of his fellow Aussie classmates and ripped off by an American.. What a goose… Oh well he is obviously laughing all the way to the bank.

  6. Gus Jed says:

    Hi I think John is correct on most reviews,just go on Product Review and down load your vehicle of choice and see problems with cars and utes, and as far as Holden Colorado you could not give me one the way I was treated by Dealer and Holden, Thank God we have Consumer Rights

  7. rob says:

    Yes, he goes a bit far, as for you Bob……..no, your not a dick head but wealthy enough not to have to worry too much.

  8. Jeff says:

    JC does not hate all Mercs only the cheap versions designed to trap the poor folk who cannot afford the expensive ones. Having worked in the car industry I can say without fear of contradiction, following the advice of JC could save you thousands. Those people with plenty to spend and waste have no need of any advice from JC or anyone. JC often sounds like an angry young man but no doubt his experience in the industry gives him cause. You dont have to take his advice, just accept that your dealer is your best friend and all those extras he recommends are to benefit you not him. And of course he wouldnt sell you a dud.

  9. Grace says:

    Hi John,
    You cannot please everyone and the car industry is a mine field of people doing the wrong thing. It is hard for us consumers to TRUST them I should know first hand after I purchased a BRAND NEW Holden back in 2007 and the Dealer/Maker relinquished all responsibility to replace my HOLDEN when it was driving to the left constantly after only 13 months of purchase, It was 9 months of stress in 2008 and never wish it on anyone. I was told the reason the for my car driving to the left is because I live near round abouts ***** HONEST TRUTH**** it is even written on a mechanical report. They take us as idiots, I wish you were around then because I would have had some strong advice from you. I was exhausted and let go.

    I am so glad you are here NOW and God bless you for all the effort you take.I will certainly contact you shortly to help with a new car purchase.

    Regards

    Grace

  10. Bram says:

    For all his obvious faults and corny jokes he is a beacon for saying it like it like it is,and he knows what he is talking about….
    I am a 45 year veteran mechanic and I can vouch that he is almost always spot on with his comments, VW have horrible autos, even if your’e under warranty you have to live with the car being in the workshop, and you driving something that you didn’t buy…
    My leased VW was there for over a month being repaired,….. twice in 10 months, make sure you get rid of it before it runs out of warranty…..
    Don’t even talk about Mercedes, Beemers ,Audis etc and most of the cars he shitcans, He is right… they are crap,,…get shot of them before the warranty runs out……unless you have three or four cars that you can use ,and all under warranty … stick to Jap and Korean cars………..

    • Bob Aldons says:

      Bram. I was a VW dealer for 8 years and never had the issues he outlines, PROVIDED that owners serviced their vehicle on time every time. Nonetheless, others have had issues that weren’t handled by their dealer or VW well enough. I watch his videos too – if he dropped the swearing and crude comments, he’d increase his audience

  11. Boaventura says:

    Believe it or not. We need people like John to give us a reminder of how car manufacturers take advantage of people!!

  12. James Dixon says:

    My wife owned a Volkswagen Golf for 15 years without trouble? I owned a very old BMW 5 series for 8 years towards the end of its life 290,000km’s things needed replacement. But overall a fine vehicle.
    CVT’s Does John tell the public the Patent was bought from Dutch Company DAF what was essentially designed for a motor scooter, because gearboxes are expensive and Japan is losing profit. Why don’t they fit CVT’s to diesels or high output engines? Why won’t Mazda, Hyundai & Kia not fit them?
    His view is a very narrow one. Who is paying him to write the columns?
    Just because a vehicle doesn’t fit into his narrow broad spectrum doesn’t make them rubbish.
    Service anything and enjoy any vehicle for years.
    The millions of cars sold in Europe can’t all be as bad as his claim.

  13. Andrew says:

    Most of the Asian cars are definitely reliable and good value for money. Some of the luxury brands do deliver good quality and have a premium appearance. There are ‘good’ and ‘bad’ cars in almost all the brands. Buying a car really comes down to personal choice. Nevertheless, some of the models appeared to be overpriced just for badge value. John is too straight forward in saying a few things, which some people may not like. However, I don’t understand the reason why he is ‘hooked’ to Asian brands so deeply! May be he was not offered ‘anything’ by US or EU brands in lieu of his offer to provide good reviews :D, otherwise why so much hatred for all the makes from same region, and why so much of love to others from a different geography. Just trying to see if there is any personal angle to it.

    • Bob Aldons says:

      Hello Andrew – couldn’t agree with you more. Well said. European car owners seem to like their brands rather than Korean or Japanese cars. Wonder why that is?

  14. Mark Wilson says:

    Hi Bob,

    JC is both factually focused and highly entertaining. I have had only terrible experiences dealing with VW Australia Head Office with respect to failed engine pistons in my former car (a Golf). Evasive and obstructionist to providing the customer with information. The dealer was far better, but it still had significant issues getting Head Office providing any level of custimer service. The cost in total after all investigations, parts and labour was north of $7,500. VW Aust Head Office kicked in 30% of the parts expense as well, which was required enough to make the repair job borderline worth doing. A 6 yr-old car engine failure is not an acceptable level of performance, and when you add in VW’s arrogance about it’s superiority, I never expected to get this issue to start with, the lion’s share of the bill, nor the f-off treatment from their Head Office.

    It’s the sort of experience that stays with an individual for life.

    So, in my honest opinion, JC is absolutely spot on with his opinion of VW as a company. He’s also honest in giving credit to VW cars in that if you have no problems, you’ll have a great driving experience.

    • Bob Aldons says:

      I understand your frustration Mark. As a former VW dealer I had to invest a lot of time looking after customers who I believed had been wronged. In saying that, my experience is that Volkswagen will typically cover issues on cars that are less than 5 years of age and had a good (not necessarily perfect) Volkswagen dealer service history. Outside of this, it must be a known issue. I’m not aware of major engine issues with a 2011 Golf of any sort.
      Again from experience, many VW owners neglect to have their car serviced as per the manufacturer’s specifications, relying on aftermarket service centres to do the right work, which they say they do but rarely do.

      • No Issues with Golf motors?? They have been losing the cam tension chain since 2010. Thousands of motors with catastrophic failure. How could you not be aware as a dealer? I call BS.

  15. Joseph says:

    I don’t trust anyone in this industry. He claims to get deals as an autobroker and quite possible funnels them to the brands where he can make the most money.

  16. Spike says:

    Having been in the motor trade for over 40 years I think JC tells it like it is some people just don’t like to hear it especially when they have just spent their hard earned money . I have the same problem when people ask me what to buy and I list the problems with what they think they would like to buy, European over priced and overated may be nice to drive, Ok if you have the bank balance to support it and Don,t mind the horrific depreciation.if your passion isn’t driving just transport with a few exceptions go Japanese or Korean. We just need JC to stick to cars and leave other subjects alone so more people may take his advice seriously because behind the facade there is a lot the general public don’t know and wouldn’t believe if you told them.With what I know I struggle myself to choose but I have a passion for cars and driving and know what I in for if I choose with my heart and not my head.I for one will sadly miss a good Aussie engineered vehicle in the new car list like my son said I can’t see us going to a museum in 30 years time to look at Hyundai’s or Kia cars.

  17. Jill Smith says:

    JC is providing a great service in a necessary niche. So many online reviews these days are pure regurgitation of manufacturing fluff, where reviewers will pick one minor thing to fault to seem critical. JC is entertaining and yes, not very PC. But someone here compared him with Trump? IMHO, besides the fact that this man clearly has much higher real self-esteem than DT, he clearly is on the left side of the spectrum, he just isn’t political correct, and in some ways is simply poking the eye of just about anything, willing to take on the flack that comes with it. Very funny.

    On a different note, think we are in a terrible era right now of car building, with focus on media units that are still years behind our phones, and build quality going down the tubes. Some driven by fuel economy standards, making powertrains needlessly (or not) complex and prone to all sorts of new ghosts. Always so pleased to get into an older vehicle and feel the directness between the pedal and the powertrain.

  18. Clive says:

    I like John’s video’s for telling it like it is. After reading all the car consumer review columns I could find when in my quest for a 4WD on my retirement I can only agree with his comments especially those that count after purchase like dealer/manufacturer support and knowledge. These are especially important for the late life buyer on a once only or last upgrade that does not have the resources to suffer the consequences of getting a lemon.
    I was hooked on a new Jeep Grand Cherokee when it first had the 8 speed ZF box and a 3lt. diesel engine and all the driver comfort accessories you could poke a stick at and that big screen on the dash that made everything else look obsolete.
    I was not in a hurry to spend my one and only super fund car allowance fortunately especially with a manufacturers radical new model and kept abreast of all the reviews and recalls not being put off by some of the minor ones.
    This was when I really became aware of the reality of terms like DPF, catalytic converter, engine fault codes, limp home mode, very high pressure fuel pumps, diesel injectors, all controlled by the engine computer and sensors, and the dealers reluctance to admit anything was faulty, whatever could go wrong!
    Many recalls and horrific owner reports later I decided on a rethink and settled on a second hand well proven and reliable Prado Kakadu of almost the same spec. and cost.
    One has to then equip it for the tracks and camping if like me that is why you wanted a 4WD in the first place, around 10 grand later I am pleased I can still afford kit upgrades as so far I have not been bankrupted or left without a vehicle by a dealer who does not know how to fix a problem.
    This is not to say Toyota do not live up to some of John’s comments for outrageous profiteering, a recently failed proximity sensor cost me well over $600 replacement with the initial dealer diagnosis $170 then ordering the part from Japan with supply and fitting a further $490.
    Good luck John I will keep watching and hoping none of the REALLY expensive bits on my rig fail.

  19. Ian Dixon says:

    John,
    You start off each talk ok about cars and then get lost in your own sound of your voice. Stick to being you and not some other poor bastard who dwells in your head. As you waffle on too much as most reports could be done in 5-10 mins. Do you pay yourself by the amount of time you are on and have you changed producers?
    Get back to the basics we know what Peter Wherrett did when he had the most popular motor show way before Top Gear you do not need to replicate him…

  20. Ross says:

    I am a car enthusiast and over the last 30 years have saved a huge amount of money by finding a good after market ie self employed mechanic and doing what he tell me , especially when it comes to new and second hand cars.

    His views and johns are very similar as I note many of the above mechanics comments are as well. Sadly he is about to retire.

    Just to give you guys a really good laugh, here are the cars we own,arranged in order of silliness

    2014 Kia cerato
    1992 ford laser wagon ( with only 100,000 k’s) work vehicle
    1967 mgb bought 30 years ago when I was told I would see out the year ( cancer) and couldn’t walk a k to work
    1963 Wolseley 24/80 just like my first car rebuilding and uprating in my semi retirement

  21. Graeme says:

    I’d say if John thinks you are a d@#$%^&d for your car choices, he’s probably right. It seems to me like you are just trying to justify those choices. As for Holden, I made the mistake of buying one of their “4WD” Rodeo utes. What an absolute pig of a car. It cost me a fortune constantly getting their design flaws repaired after only 45,000 km. I lost a lot of money on that piece of crap. I thought having an Isuzu engine it would be better than a typical Holden, but I was wrong. Should have stuck with Toyota, as I now continue to do. I’ve never had any serious issues in twenty years of driving Toyotas.

  22. Francois says:

    If you had the bad luck to buy a ford focus and be treated like rubbish by Ford and their dealer, you wish you knew about John before.

    Ford paid a $10 million fine https://www.accc.gov.au/media-release/court-orders-ford-to-pay-10-million-penalty-for-unconscionable-conduct , jut treating customer like rubbish, and this is just to avoid the court.

  23. Kristian says:

    John C should link this opinion piece to his own website. In one way or another every single public comment plus the piece itself upholds everything he says he stands for.

    Well done everyone involved!

  24. Johann Lang says:

    I cannot verify every single comment by John Cadogan, but in many of the points what he says is 100% in line with my personal experience.
    As for VW, Audi and the like, he exactly hits the bull’s eye! They are crap. Especially what concerns the inferior reliability.
    His comments on Mercedes are also well-founded.
    Brilliant guy, this John Cadogan…

  25. Joe muraca says:

    Responded to your online add about how you can save people thousands on their next new car,,. I got a call from Lee from auto genie he knew exactly what I wanted to buy 2018 Mazda CX 3 Touring fwd ,auto, petrol in black .He assured me that he was going to get me the best deal around, many many phone calls he tells me that the best price so far was $26,520 . Did not hear back from him as he had told me he was going to call back with a even better deal so I gave him a call, At this stage he tells me that his best new deal price is now $28,700. I asked was the price was higher , he tells me that the earlier price may have been for a manual car,,,,, what a load of crap was what I told him … Very very unprofessional , in fact total crap service , I should have never become involved with this bunch

    • Bob Aldons says:

      Hi Joe
      Whilst I appreciate your comments, your opening line would indicate that you engaged my company. You didn’t. If you meant to say that you’d engaged Cadogan’s company, perhaps you should have said that. I don’t sublet any enquiry to outside companies. I do everything myself.
      I’ve had numerous comments about the way that the ‘Auto Expert” does his business and frankly, it’s far from being professional. If a customer suggests that they’re going to shop around, they’re dropped like a hot potato. It seems that Auto Expert doesn’t feel that he has to compete against dealers, other brokers or anyone.
      If you want some professional honest advice on how to purchase a new car, or have a reliable company do that for you, contact Bob Aldons (me) at Car Business – Any New Car Cheaper

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