The dealer service departments of Lexus and Mini offer the best overall dealer service satisfaction, according to a new J.D. Power and Associates study. Customers are also more impressed with car dealerships compared to their nondealer competitors. In a statement, Chris Sutton, senior director at J.D. Power and Associates, said that overall dealer service satisfaction is higher when there are “steady improvements in vehicle quality, longer intervals between recommended service visits and a higher mix of maintenance service events.”
Sutton also said that to raise satisfaction with the purchase experience as well as the after-sales service, manufacturers and their dealers have established broad-based customer service improvement initiatives.
Under the latest J.D. Power's annual U.S. Customer Service Index study, the dealer service departments achieved an average of 787 points on a 1,000-point scale – higher by 19 points compared to the previous year. On the other hand, the nondealer facilities had an average of 749 points.
J.D. Power analyzes how satisfied vehicle owners are when they visit a service department for maintenance or repair work. These rankings are based on dealer service performance for the first three years of ownership. The satisfaction with dealer service is measured using five factors: service quality, service initiation, service adviser, service facility and vehicle pickup.
For the fourth consecutive year, Lexus scored the highest score in customer satisfaction with dealer service. For this year, it took 861 points. Lexus was followed by Cadillac (with 852 points), Jaguar (with 849 points), Acura (with 838 points) and Porsche (with 836 points).
Audi improved the most from 2011, increasing by 34 points to 828. The mass market brands had much lower scores than the luxury automakers. In this segment, BMW's Mini took the top spot for the second straight year with 809 points. Trailing Mini were Buick (805), GMC (803), Chevrolet (801) and Hyundai (791). The companies that improved the most were Nissan (with a climb of 43 points to 774) and Toyota (which had 31 points more to 766).
In designing the new GS, the engineering team at Lexus wanted a vehicle that showed agility while being strong. Ultimately, the team wanted the new model to offer customers a driving experience that was more engaging. This meant not only having a new body that was aerodynamic but a structure that was stiffer with the stance made wider.
It also had to have a transmission that allowed for faster shifts while having a unique sound for the engine and the exhaust. The resulting new Lexus GS is a model that not only achieved having unique driving experience but also had a bolder design. Overall, the new GS marks a new chapter for the brand’s already illustrious history. A signature feature in the Lexus GS is the bold spindle grille which gives the model that air of confidence.
The brand expects that this will become a signature feature for other models the brand will release in the future. It comes with a chassis that has been redesigned to have a stronger and wider stance. With this, there is no doubt that with the GS, the brand wanted drivers to experience precise and crisp handling. The Lexus GS is not just about design as the engineering team also gave it an interior that had a more modern look and offered enough space.
For the team, giving the new Lexus GS an interior that had more space was truly a challenge. This was because both the boot space and cabin space had to be increased while making sure that the dimensions of the exterior are not altered. The reason for this was that the Lexus GS had to have an interior that was richly appointed in order to bring occupants and their baggage comfortably no matter how long the trip was.
The Lexus GS was unveiled by the brand during the 2011 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. The model will be officially launched during the early part of 2012 and is expected to enter the U.K. market in the same year. In addition to the base model, Lexus will also be launching a hybrid version and a F-Sport variant. In particular, the U.K. market will be getting the GS full hybrid with output at 450 hp and the petrol-based unit with output of 250 hp.