J.D. Power Showers Buick and Lexus With Praise Over Service Satisfaction

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
j d power showers buick and lexus with praise over service satisfaction

J.D. Power and Associates continued its courtship of Buick and Lexus in its latest scorecard for consumer satisfaction with dealer service departments. While J.D. passes out awards around like a teacher giving PARTICIPANT ribbons at an elementary school science fair, its consumer index is a decent way to track automotive trends. In this instance, that trend is continued improvement of American manufacturers. Well, most of them.

Fiat Chrysler should sincerely consider making a large contribution to J.D. Power so it can get out of last place in literally every single category.

Meanwhile, General Motors is on its best behavior with a score of 807 out of 1,000, an improvement over last year by a full 10 points thanks to Buick taking top honors (860 points) and its other brands scoring substantially above the industry average. Buick was followed by Mini, GMC, Chevrolet and Nissan in the mass-market brand rankings.

Lexus experienced a return to glory among premium brands after a three-year gap of only being “among the best.” Before that, Toyota’s luxury arm enjoyed five-consecutive years of top honors. Lexus’ score was 874, up five points from a year earlier.

Still, even the lowest-rated premium brands managed to score well above the industry average for mass-market autos. Land Rover, which received the worst consumer feedback, garnered a score of 828. For comparison, the non-premium label on the bottom rung of service department satisfaction came in with 739. That brand, as you probably guessed, was Fiat. The rest of FCA’s brood took their usual places near the bottom of the list, with Dodge performing the least offensively.

Possibly the most useful bit of data obtained from the index was what customers liked and didn’t like when interacting with service departments. Obviously, doing the work correctly was the big x-factor. Customers forced to bring in a vehicle a second time weren’t likely to forget it. But the problem area that most centers had the most trouble getting right the first time? Center consoles and radios.

Other elements — like service advisors using tablets instead of paper — made customers feel better about the experience, and franchised dealerships were preferred to independent service shops primarily due to amenities offered, comfort of waiting areas, and overall cleanliness.

The study measured customer satisfaction of owners and lessees of 2012 to 2016 model-year vehicles serviced at franchised dealerships and independent service centers. J.D. Power surveyed more than 70,000 customers between October and December of 2016 for the latest study. The scores measure quality of service, performance of service advisers, service initiation, service facility and vehicle pick-up. Service quality was the most-improved category with a score of 809, up 27 points from 2015.

[Image: General Motors]

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  • Akear Akear on Mar 18, 2017

    I will buy a Buick when it becomes an American car. Current Buick's are engineered by Opel and Daewoo and are designed by Australians. GM does not believe in hiring Americans for white collar jobs anymore. GM hates America.

    • Buickman Buickman on Mar 18, 2017

      not sure they Hate America as much as they chase a buck.

  • Pig Hater Pig Hater on Mar 18, 2017

    The problem here is Buick and Lexus owners can love and cherish their cars all they want but they're still Buick and Lexus owners. To me, that's like having somebody telling me that Nickelback and Adele are the greatest.

  • MaintenanceCosts We hear endlessly from the usual suspects about the scenarios where EVs don't work as well as gas cars. We never hear the opposite side of the coin. From an EV owner (since 2019) who has a second EV reserved, here are a few points the "I road trip 1000 miles every day" crowd won't tell you about:[list][*]When you have a convenient charging situation, EV fueling is more convenient than a gas car. There is no stopping at gas stations and you start every day with a full tank.[/*][*]Where there are no-idling rules (school pickup/dropoff, lines for ferries or services, city loading, whatever else) you can keep warm or cool to your heart's content in your EV.[/*][*]In the cold, EVs will give you heat from the second you turn them on.[/*][*]EVs don't care one bit if you use them for tons of very short trips. Their mechanicals don't need to boil off condensation. (Just tonight, I used my EV to drive six blocks, because it was 31 degrees and raining, and walking would have been unpleasant.)[/*][*]EVs don't stink and don't make you breathe carcinogens on cold start.[/*][*]EV maintenance is much less frequent and much cheaper, eliminating almost all items having to do with engine, transmission, or brakes in a gas car. In most EVs the maintenance schedule consists of battery coolant changes and tire maintenance.[/*][*]You can accelerate fast in EVs without noisily attracting the attention of the cops and every passerby on the street.[/*][/list]
  • MaintenanceCosts Still can't get a RAV4 Prime for love or money. Availability of normal hybrid RAV4s and Highlanders is only slightly better. At least around here I think Toyota could sell twice the number of vehicles that they are actually bringing in at the moment.
  • Tree Trunk Been in the market for a new Highlander Hybrid, it is sold out with order time of 6 months plus. Probably would have bit the bullet if it was not for the dealers the refuse to take an order but instead want to sell from allotment whether it fits or not and at thousands over MRSP.
  • AKHusky The expense argument is nonsense. My mach e was $42k after tax credit. Basically the same as similarly equipped edge. And it completely ignores that the best selling vehicles are Rams, F150s, and Silverados, all more expensive that a bolt, MAch e or ID4. As an owner, I'd say they are still in second car territory for most places in the country.
  • Johnster I live in a red state and I see quite a few EVs being purchased by conservative, upper-class Republicans (many of them Trump-supporters). I suspect that it is a way for them to flaunt their wealth and that, over time, the preference for EVs will trickle down to less well-off Republicans.
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