By on June 5, 2009

Thanks to Michael Karesh at TrueDelta.com, we tend to take everything J.D. Powers’ mob puts out with a HUMMER-sized pinch of salt. Even so, anyone who thinks that New, Fiat-controlled Chrysler is going to reverse the zombie automaker’s rep for producing adulterated crap should consider taking a hit of today’s J.D. The company’s 2009 UK Vehicle Owners Satisfaction Study rates Fiat dead last. Below Chrysler. Talk about the blind leading the lame . . . .

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37 Comments on “Fiat Places Dead Last in J.D. Powers’ UK Satisfaction Study...”


  • avatar
    Mirko Reinhardt

    Both the Panda and the Grande Punto are on top of the ADAC reliability charts in their respective classes and years. Some other models, not so much. It’s a mixed bag.

  • avatar
    GeeDashOff

    It also lists Mercedes and Jaguar up there with Toyota and Honda, so uhhh, yea, LOL.

  • avatar
    wulfgar

    Is this a reliability report or the owner satisfaction report? I think they do one of each as the latter charts how “happy” you are with your vehicles features and what-not. Either way, the results are terrible.

  • avatar
    KatiePuckrik

    Some interesting results here:

    No surprise Lexus and Honda at the top, but look at the (statistical) deadheat between Mercedes-Benz, Skoda, Toyota, Jaguar (I’ll come back to that later), Mini, Porsche, BMW and Volvo. While that’s impressive, Toyota still comes out the winner as their quality is over a much greater number of cars made against, the smaller manufacturers.

    Jaguar is near the top. Any more jokes about Jaguar reliability?

    The big surprise is Ford near the bottom. I really didn’t see that one coming.

    Hyundai in the bottom third?!

    And, as per normal, GM and French brands near the bottom.

    I still maintain that “word of mouth” is the best reliability index, rather than a survey.

  • avatar
    97escort

    According to Zipcar CEO no one wants to even borrow GM or Chrysler products:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/06/02/zipcar-ceo-tells-cnbc-no_n_210230.html

  • avatar
    paradigm_shift

    Subaru isn’t even on that list. I know Subaru is a niche player, but they got MINI, SAAB, Chevrolet…

    And yes, I still have PLENTY of Jaguar reliability jokes, there’s alot of material for those ;-)

  • avatar
    Mirko Reinhardt

    @paradigm_shift :
    Subaru isn’t even on that list. I know Subaru is a niche player, but they got MINI, SAAB, Chevrolet…

    Subaru is in a microscopical niche in Europe, even compared to MINI, Saab and Chevrolet.
    They didn’t even have a diesel until last year. Try to sell something like the Legacy as a gasser-only model in Europe.

    Most people in Europe don’t know what a Subaru is. They are exotics.

    Everybody knows what:

    -a Saab is (weirdo Swedish hatchback, they don’t make the like they used to)
    -a MINI is (small, expensive, fun to drive)
    -a Chevrolet is (rebadged Korean crapmobile, therefore cheap)

  • avatar
    slateslate

    **sigh** no one reads up on business history….. it is extremely rare (as in I can’t think of a single case but there has to be at least one), where you combine two second/third-tier companies and the new company becomes a success.

    With Chrysler/Fiat, you basically took the kids on two separate short buses (slang for developmentally challenged kids, for you non-American English speakers) and put them onto one big bus.

    And VW Europe seems to always surveys better than VW America…..so it has to be the American dealer network?

  • avatar
    Morea

    The fine print at the bottom indicates that the following brands with limited sales are not included: Alfa Romeo, Daihatsu, Jeep, Smart, and Subaru.

    Also, a score of 751 is 90% of the top score of 833 so the spread is not a great as the bar graph suggests. Also, what is the standard deviation of the scores within a brand?

  • avatar
    Robstar

    Interesting about subaru/europe

    Shortly after I got my STi, I went to F1 with it along with a buddy. We camped out in the outfield outside of the track along with 100’s of other people from all over. Literally there were people from all over europe, south america etc.

    We had several European groups (of males) stop by and point excitedly to my (then almost-new) STi and take pictures. I never could figure it out.

    It being non-existent in Europe might have been why, heh.

  • avatar
    skygreenleopard

    What’s even more hilarious is Chrysler in 2nd-to-last place. Slateslate – two shortbuses is SO on the mark.

  • avatar
    joeaverage

    Nah – not convinced of anything. Bring me REAL numbers, not people’s opinions of their cars. I have four cars that I cherish that other people might detest just because of differences in taste and expectations. We may have different needs too.

    My grandmother has a Buick that goes 2 miles this way, and 2 miles that way. Maybe 20 miles a week. Meanwhile a friend of mine puts hundreds of miles per day on his Saturn (he’s in sales). Very different uses for their vehicles.

    Let’s talk about cost to maintain a vehicle per 150,000 miles. TCO. And surveys which measure TCO during the warranty period or the first 50K miles really don’t mean much to me.

  • avatar

    If you go to True Delta, you will find that the new Jaguar does seem to have its fair share of problems. More than most. Hopefully they can work them out but I am not optomistic. I got to test drive the 2010 XFR and XKR and the two door had a rattle in the left rear quarter. Fun cars to drive on the test track though. Very impressive. Roberto Gurrero was my codriver and his lap around the track was truly amazing and really showed off the handling of these new designs.

  • avatar
    menno

    This is a “satisfaction” survey, not a “reliability” survey.

    Not worth the ink it is printed on. None of these are – not just the ones from the UK, IMHO.

    One group of buyers’ expectations can obviously be way different from another.

    That said, I am pretty certain that in actual reliability surveys that I saw within the last couple of years (from the UK), FIAT – um – didn’t do so well (yes, that is a form of the famous – or infamous – “British Understatment”). Likewise, Chrapster was in the dumpster, too.

  • avatar
    f8

    “We don’t trust J.D. Power, unless it supports our position”.

  • avatar
    jaydez

    does this mean the Chrysler-Fiat merger is truly a merger of equals?

  • avatar
    f8

    Oh hey, Skoda is like 10 ranks higher than VW on that list. Despite, you know, being rebadged VWs with slightly different sheetmetal. This chart is garbage and using it invalidates whatever point you were trying to make.

  • avatar
    51mustang

    Chrysler and fiat joining up is like two last place ball clubs joining forces to produce a ‘stronger’ team.
    This is already becoming a joke.

    Is this the change we voted for!!

  • avatar
    carlos.negros

    If we are to believe this survey is worth anything, how come Saab beats Nissan and Volvo beats Mazda and Audi?

    Why not a survey of French, Italian, Greek, Brazilian, or Argentine drivers? Who cares what the British think? After all, they also like nationalized health care by something like 80 percent. I don’t think I would believe anything they tell JD Power.

  • avatar
    jet_silver

    What’s amazing is the rise of the French. Citroen is just below average and Peugeot – last, several years running in Car’s survey – has started to climb.

    Mirko Reinhardt :
    Subaru is in a microscopical niche in Europe, even compared to MINI, Saab and Chevrolet.

    No kidding. The only Subies I ever see in France are three or four STis. The run-of-the-mill Impreza, Forester and Legacy models are absent.

  • avatar
    windswords

    There is no way I’d give any validity to a study that places Land Rover just one step down from “Industry Average” and Ford several steps down from there. And VW higher “Industry Average” and several steps higher than Nissan. Throw it out. It’s meaningless.

  • avatar
    carlos.negros

    Like Rush, I just hope this all fails. I hope that GM and Chrysler fail and that it all comes back and hits Obama in the face.

    I also hope all hybrids fail; that global warming destroys the low countries (that’ll teach ’em). I want electric cars, wind power, solar power, and any alternative energy, including bicycles outlawed. I hope that we cover any remaining U.S forests in strip mines, kill all fish, and fill the grand canyon with empty plastic water bottles.

    Only then will the American people understand their mistake and realize we need to elect Dick Cheney next time!

  • avatar

    Hope without a viable plan is delusion in disguise.

  • avatar
    Spike_in_Irvine

    It is interesting how many of our readers dismiss this survey because it does not match their knowledge of a vehicle’s reliability based on some other statistics. This survey is about owner satifaction and I submit that is a greater indicator of which car they’ll buy next than the reliability stats. e.g. A Lexus may break down a lot but if the dealer provides a capuccinno and a game of pool while he fixes it, the owner might love the experience enough to buy a second.
    Also, quality is more about matching expectations than about absolutes. That is why Skoda can satisfy as much as a Mercedes. Nobody would claim they are similar cars.

  • avatar
    Ken Strumpf

    @97escort:

    That is incredibly damning if true. One of the purposes of Zipcar is allow people to rent special purpose vehicles like pickups that they only occasionally need. It’s hard to believe that no one has ever asked for, say, a Chevy pickup. If this is truly the case it’s a very bad omen, since the Zipcar demographic skews young. Who will replace the current generation of domestic buyers?

  • avatar
    Juniper

    The Best is 83% satisfied, the Worst is 75% satisfied. Not that big a difference.

  • avatar

    As Juniper and others have pointed out, the range of scores is quite tight. Except for the two leaders, everyone is within 3% of the average.

    And satisfaction is a nebulous thing, at best loosely connected to reliability. Combine these two things, and it’s easy to read a lot more into these results than is actually there.

  • avatar
    long126mike

    According to Zipcar CEO no one wants to even borrow GM or Chrysler products

    He’s actually being a bit disingenuous with that comment, as a quick check shows they have the Toyota Matrix in their fleet, and that could just as easily be a Pontiac Vibe if they had wanted.

    Other than that, it mostly makes sense. They’ve got four main functions – functional urban car (A to B driving), sporty (but not high-performance), luxury or near-luxury (date night or impress-the-in-laws), and Target runs (or light runs to Home Depot).

    The first function is clearly not a strength of GM or Chrysler. Caliber? Cobalt? Come on.

    As for sporty, that’s well-served for the urban demographic by things like MINIs, Miatas, and entry BWMs.

    Same for the luxury and near-luxury – probably mostly BMWs.

    As for the last one – Target runs – vehicles like the Element are far more practical than a truck, and if one needed a full-size truck, that’s already well-served by $20/day UHauls. Imagine trying to park a Silverado or F-150 in Cambridge, MA.

  • avatar
    Jaywalker

    As mergers go, this looks promising – no corporate culture conflicts here…

  • avatar
    john.fritz

    Good fuckin’ luck getting a U-Haul for $20.00 a day.

  • avatar
    Kristjan Ambroz

    As already pointed out – these surveys are not worth the pixels they occupy. What can one expect – around 10% from worst to best? No confidence intervals around figures, it’s about satisfaction, and the questions tend to be sufficiently vague as to warrant any answer. The sample size is usually small enough for large differences between waves, which have nothing to do with real changes in behaviour.

    Oh, as for Jag – the XF in a similar survey by Auto Express came first for satisfaction. And 87th (out of 100) for reliability. So would not count the chickens on the Jag reneissance just yet. Their other models prior to the latest XK and XF seemed to have been a lot better than that. But in any case – this would be just an opinion, the survey would be flawed in the same ways as this one.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    VOSS is a fatally flawed survey, but coming in last still isn’t good.

  • avatar
    long126mike

    Good fuckin’ luck getting a U-Haul for $20.00 a day.

    Standard rate plus mileage. Have you never used UHaul?

  • avatar
    Runfromcheney

    KatiePuckrik:
    Why did the chicken cross the road?

    To push his Jaguar back into the shop. :P

    (Just screwing with you)

  • avatar
    Pch101

    According to that survey, SAAB is quite a crowd pleaser, while Hyundai is sucking eggs. Not sure if this has much relevance for us here.

    Maybe we should get Skodas. People seem to like them, at least when they’re on the wrong side of the road.

  • avatar
    RogerB34

    “Hope without a viable plan is delusion in disguise.”
    60 percent are solidly for Hope. The People delusional? Can’t be. This is America!

  • avatar
    zerofoo

    Robert,

    Hope without a viable plan is a US corporate business plan in disguise.

    At least our government thinks so.

    -ted

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