General Motors grabbed three of the five highest-scored mainstream brands in the US Customer Service Index Study conducted and released by J.D. Power and Associates. With a score 836 of the 1,000 possible, Buick managed to defend its crown as top mass-market brand. At close second is Mini with 834 points.
Completing the top five 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 is Jaguar, followed by Lexus, Audi, 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, down 3 points, while the average for mass market brands was 792, 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 MY2010-2014 vehicles.