Cadillac, Buick top 2014 JD Power Customer Service Index Study

Article by Andrew Christian, on April 11, 2014

Lexus’ five-year reign as the top ranked luxury brand in J.D. Power and Associates’ U.S. Customer Service Index Study has ended, with Cadillac taking the crown for this year. The survey gauges customer satisfaction with dealership service departments of respective brands. Lexus slid to No. 3 after being outscored by (872) and Audi (868).

Completing the top five luxury brands in the survey are Infiniti and Lincoln. Acura fell out of top five in 2013 and now ranked third from bottom, which is ruled by Volvo and Land Rover. On the other side of the survey, Buick came out on top of mainstream brands, scoring 835. It is followed by Volkswagen with score of 830.

GMC saw its score surge by 16 points, but it was not enough to stop its fall from first in 2013 to third this year. Completing the top 5 mainstream brands in the survey are Mini and Chevrolet. Still lurking at the bottom of this side of the poll are Dodge, Jeep and Ram, with the same spots as last year’s.

The survey marked a double win for GM – Cadillac and Buick – as its ability to satisfy service customers faces a humongous test this month as dealerships commence fixing 2.2 million vehicles in the US for faulty ignition switches. GM recalled 7 million vehicles in the first quarter of 2014, equal to its total in the last four years combined.

According to Chris Sutton, senior director of the US automotive retail practice at J.D. Power, the strong satisfaction scores suggest that GM’s service departments can effectively engage consumers during the recall crisis.

Sutton told Automotive News in an interview that the survey suggests that GM’s dealers are well-positioned to be address challenges in capacity, adding that the poll also suggests that the carmaker’s advisors do an excellent job connecting with consumers.

The 2014 Customer Service Index measures the satisfaction level of owners and lessees of 1- to 5-year-old vehicles on their service at franchised dealer facilities for maintenance and repair work. Scores are based on a 1,000-point scale.

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