Overall contentment among domestic vehicle owners dropped slightly in this year’s American Customer Satisfaction Index. Meanwhile, enjoyment from European and Asian automakers stayed roughly the same. However, that information might not be quite so useful until you begin comparing individual brands (and even other industries).
Domestic automakers averaged 80 out of a possible 100 points in the ACSI scale, with General Motors as the only American manufacturer seeing an improvement from 2016. For the sake of comparison, let’s see how other industries are doing on either end of the spectrum: Cable companies, which everyone hates, averaged 64 points and television sets, which everyone loves, scored 87 points.
By and large, that doesn’t place automakers in the doghouse. But it does highlight a modest shift in the perception of specific domestic brands while longtime satisfaction leaders, like Toyota and Lexus, hold pole position.
The just released American Customer Satisfaction Index, based on interviews with over 4,000 recent new car buyers, finds that car buyers are less satisfied this year than last, with the index dropping 1.2% to an industry average of 83%. It’s the first time in two years that a decline in new car buyer satisfaction has been measured, but customer satisfaction is still significantly higher than the index’s 1979 baseline of 79% of customers being satisfied.
The survey measures consumer satisfaction based on quality, purchase price, the dealership experience, and other factors. The authors of the study say that the small drop may ironically be due to past improvements in quality and customer satisfaction.
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