ACSI Study: "Detroit is Falling. It's All Foreign at the Top and All American at the Bottom"

acsi study detroit is falling its all foreign at the top and all american at the

What be the ACSI, you ask? The American Consumer Satisfaction Index, conducted by the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business. As for methodology, the explanation is well above my pay grade. (I'd just ask "How satisfied are you with your car?" and call it good.) Unhelpfully enough, the automotive sector's results are listed alphabetically. But the bottom line is as above. And the answering spin, reported by The Detroit News, is mucho predictable. "We still say with a high level of confidence that the level of our customer satisfaction is improving for most of our brands, based on independent studies and internal data," GM spokeswoman Janine Fruehan said. "We have a renewed and intensified focus on satisfying our Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge customers that has been under way for about a year," Chrysler spokesman Ed Saenz said. "The new management is committed to satisfying our customers at every level. We are beginning to see, in internal numbers, improvements that indicate we are on the right path." And "This survey runs counter to the results of other recent surveys, in which we've made great progress," Ford spokesman Mark Schirmer said. Never mind, then. I guess.

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  • Landcrusher Landcrusher on Aug 20, 2008

    I would say Buick did better because of brand loyalty. How many of their owners have owned anything else in 20 years? Seriously? My mother had to have her arm twisted to try "one of those little japanese cars." It was 1990. I was paying the down payment though, so off to the Nissan lot we went (My uncle was working for Nissan, and her sister liked the cars so that helped). She would not even drive the Stanza (too small). She got in the Maxima and then had to have it. We bought it, she still has it. Years ago, GM got her to go to a customer research study where they put her in different cars and got her opinion. She hated them all, and told them that none of them were as good as her Maxima which was pretty old by then. So, based on that anecdote, and the folks I see driving Buicks, I am betting they are happy because they don't know what they are missing.

  • Golden2husky Golden2husky on Aug 20, 2008
    And the Lexuses are, by and large, much more complex cars sold to wealthy, fickle customers. That Lexus can keep customers happy given those two factors is the salient point..... Wealthier, yes. But let's be real. Most of the people who buy cars like this do so because of a sense of status. Lexus earned their reputation, but if the actual quality faltered it would years before these buyers would make a fuss. See MB for a classic example of this. They might bitch and moan when they go to the dealer again and again, but they will boast proudly about what they drive. Do you really think they put together that their car with the three pointed star goes to the service bay with greater frequency than almost any domestic product? And there lies the problem with all surveys of this type. The people who collect and provide the data - you and me - have emotional ties to the product and come with loads of preconceived notions. Probably the only way to get unbiased data would be to take the warranty claim information from the dealer network without their knowledge. Since that isn't going to happen, these surveys will never past the test of true science rigor.

  • KixStart KixStart on Aug 20, 2008

    golden2husky: "See MB for a classic example of this. They might bitch and moan when they go to the dealer again and again, but they will boast proudly about what they drive. Do you really think they put together that their car with the three pointed star goes to the service bay with greater frequency than almost any domestic product?" CR is able to identify a significant gulf between Lexus and M-B, so there's some measure of rationality in consumer responses. I can't see why a Lexus owner would have a reason to overlook defects in his $50K car where an M-B owner wouldn't.

  • Potemkin Potemkin on Aug 20, 2008

    Foreign car owners don't bitch about their machines because they would just get told "why didn't you buy American". The problem with brand loyalty is that it restricts your car experience so you don't find out that something is much better than what you've been buying for years. Brand loyalty is what GM relied on for years. In the 80's they said 85% of Chevy customers were return customers, now it looks like 85% never return.

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