Fleet News

Top makers' customer service below average

MAINSTREAM fleet manufacturers have customer service levels below the motor industry average, according to JD Power & Associates' 1999 'UK Car Customer Satisfaction Study'. The survey found that Ford, Peugeot, Rover and Vauxhall all had customer satisfaction scores below the industry average, despite recording some of the most notable improvements in their service.

Ford, for example, achieved a 19-point increase in its score, Rover jumped 10 points and Vauxhall rose by the industry average of nine. Dave Sargent, JD Power's director of European operations, said: 'The recent improvements by Ford, with its high market share, is a major contributor to the overall increase in the industry average. Across the industry there is no doubt that new car quality is getting better. Much of the credit for this is due to customers' ever-increasing demands on the manufacturers.'

The study was based on the views of 24,000 owners and drivers of P-registered cars, and covered 32 brands - 26 showed an improvement. Scores were weighted according to vehicle performance (26%), problem incidence/resolution (23%), customer care (17%), warranty (15%), dealer capabilities (13%) and service costs (6%).This saw Subaru secure top spot in the manufacturers' league table, with 166 points compared to an industry average of 110, and its Impreza and Legacy were judged the first and second most satisfying cars to own with scores of 166 and 156 respectively.

Jaguar came second with a score of 154, and was the most improved brand for the second year running, while the XJ saloon was deemed the second equal most satisfying car to own, alongside the Subaru Legacy and Toyota Starlet. Last year's winner Skoda came third and its Felicia was fifth most satisfying car to own.

BMW, Honda, Mazda, and Toyota fared best among key fleet players, coming fourth equal in the manufacturers' league table, and Toyota's three cars in the top 10 was the best performance of any brand. JD Power does not release the scores or positions of the worst performing brands.

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