General Motors grabbed three of the five highest-scored mainstream brands in the United States Customer Service Index Study conducted and released by J.D. Power and Associates. With a score 836 points of the 1,000 possible, Buick managed to defend its crown as top mass-market brand. At close second is the Mini brand with 834 points.
Completing the top five of the Customer Service Index Study by J.D. Power and Associates are Volkswagen, GMC and Chevrolet. Mike Battaglia, senior director of auto retail, told Automotive News in an interview that recalls were considered as repairs in the study. He noted that while recall visits surged for GM brands, dealers were able to actually manage that volume of recalls very well.
He added that if dealers failed to handle those recalls well, the GM brands “would have had a much more difficult time in CSI this year.” GM recalled 26.9 million vehicles in the United States last year, mostly over faulty ignition switches. The auto industry recalled over 60 million vehicles last year, almost double the previous record.
On the luxury side, dominating the rankings of the US Customer Service Index Study by J.D. Power and Associates is Jaguar, as followed by Lexus and Audi. Completing the top five are Lincoln and Cadillac. Jaguar was able to jump from sixth in 2014 to No. 1 this year due to improvement in four out of five customer satisfaction measures: initiation, adviser, facility and quality, Battaglia disclosed.
Overall customer satisfaction in both the luxury and mass-market categories plunged from a year ago. The average for luxury brand was 852 points, down 3 points, while the average for mass market brands was 792 points, down 5 points.
However, overall customer satisfaction among customers taking in their vehicles for recall-related repairs jumped by 12 points to 789.
In a statement, J.D. Power said the study measured customer satisfaction with service at franchised dealership service centers for maintenance or repair work, and was conducted between November and December 2014, based on responses from over 70,000 owners and lessees of 2010 to 2014 mode year vehicles.
Based in Costa Mesa, California, J.D. Power and Associates is an American-based global marketing information services company that conducts surveys of customer satisfaction, product quality as well as purchase behavior for a several industries including the auto industry.
The company was established in 1968 by James David Power III. Power used to conduct customer research for the Ford Motor Co., where he felt customer satisfaction data was usually overlooked. The company is now a business unit of McGraw Hill Financial.