Fleet News

Improve or pay the price, car makers told

RAISE standards or lose market share, car manufacturers have been warned by the founder of the JD Power and Associates' Study. Now in its seventh year in the UK as an annual evaluation of private and company car drivers' satisfaction, the 2000 study's top three places have been awarded to Subaru, Jaguar and Skoda in a field of 31 R-registered brands.

The places, announced last week, are the same as in 1999, but both Jaguar and Skoda improved their overall customer satisfaction scores and Subaru's total of 158 points remains a study record. The average rating, however, was 108, down from last year's 110, and chief executive Dave Power, who launched a similar survey in America 20 years ago, believes car makers should be doing more.

'If they don't improve their satisfaction scores they'll face increasing problems with market share and profitability,' he said. Power qualified that by suggesting that poor performances in early studies had been major factors in a number of European brands pulling out of the US market. 'We had a lot of detractors at the start and it took us six or seven years before the study was accepted as a true measure of performance,' he said. 'Now all manufacturers in the States subscribe and it is gratifying to us that in the last three to four years we have been invited into manufacturers' plants.'

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