Customer Satisfaction with Major Automakers at Highest Level Since 2009
Car buyers are happier than ever, as satisfaction levels have returned to the highest point recorded back in 2009, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). More impressive, though, is the fact that major U.S. automakers have greatly improved their scores in just one year’s time.
The ACSI differs from J.D. Power surveys in that it measures three-year satisfaction among new-vehicle buyers instead of 90 days. The auto industry scored 84 out of 100 this year, the same number it achieved in 2009 when customers were pleased with the low vehicle prices that resulted from the U.S. government’s cash-for-clunkers program launched in the summer of 2009. Though prices have recovered since then, it appears customers are still smiling.
“…automakers are paying more attention to improving the quality of the vehicles themselves,” managing director of ACSI, Dav VanAmburg told the Detroit Free Press.
Those paying particularly close attention are major U.S. automakers, as six of the nine U.S. auto brands improved compared to last year. Jeep rose from a score of 79 to 83, while Dodge kicked it up two notches to 81. Chrysler jumped two points to score 78, but it wasn’t enough to prevent it from ranking at the bottom of the major automaker list. Lincoln, on the other hand, had the best score at 90 points. While that score places Lincoln at the top of the customer satisfaction heap, it may not mean the brand has the satisfied buyers by volume, but rather the best distribution of happy customers.
Although most domestic brands earned higher scores, foreign automakers still had them beat. Lexus came in after Lincoln with 89 (up two points), while Buick and Subaru earned 87. BMW and Cadillac scored 86 points, while Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, and Volkswagen trailed behind with 85 points each – though all were above the industry average. Chevrolet improved with 84, while Ford fell back to 83 among the same ranks as Nissan. Kia and Mazda both achieved 82.
Source: Detroit Free Press