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Auto Industry Satisfaction Down Since Last Year

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On: Fri, Aug 20, 2010 at 10:09AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Auto Industry Satisfaction Down Since Last Year

American satisfaction with the domestic automobile industry is measured on a scale of 0-100 using the American Customer Satisfaction Index survey (ACSI). In 2009 the industry rating reached an all time high of 84 according to Automotive News.com. Now that number has dipped to 82. 

According to the ACSI (designed to measure the quality of American products and services), "the domestic automotive satisfaction level has stabilized, and in a few cases climbed, despite an overall decline for the industry over the past 18 months."

The ACSI survey is performed over the phone; scores result from conducting 250 interviews with participants from age 18 to 84. This year’s results concluded that out of the top 19 auto brands, 14 dropped in customer satisfaction since 2009. Kia and Mazda scored below average for the industry, and at the bottom of the list were Dodge and Jeep. Buick and Ford's Lincoln-Mercury brand showed up at the top of the list for the first time since the inception of the survey.   Nissan had a 4 point increase to 84, and GMC realized a 2 point improvement, also ending up at 84. According to Claes Fornell, founder of the ACSI: “It was not long ago when Detroit’s products were clustered at the bottom of the industry.”

In this year’s study, Japanese and Korean brands fell the most, placing domestic automakers slightly ahead of Asian contenders for the first time since 2000.
Ford Motor Company’s Lincoln-Mercury division came in at the top of the list, up 1 point to 89 which was its highest score ever. It was followed by Buick at 88.
Scores that were tied at 86 came in for BMW, Lincoln, Buick, Mercedes-Benz (which was off 1 point from last year), and Cadillac, down by 3 points.

The automakers that dropped the farthest from last year were: Honda, down by 4 points; Hyundai, down by 3 points; and Volkswagen, ranking at 81 which was 5 points less than it scored last year. Domestic automakers that experienced the biggest dip since 2009 were as follows: Chevrolet (with a 3 point loss to 80), Cadillac, Chrysler, and Dodge.

Surprisingly, the highly publicized safety recalls from Toyota Motor Corp. resulted in having much more of a negative impact on Lexus’ Customer Satisfaction results than on the Toyota brand, according to the survey. Lexus fell by 4 points to 85, but Toyota lost only half that number of points resulting in a final score of 84.

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