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European Motorists Satisfied With Their Cars

Customer satisfaction survey is a tricky business. How do you get people to give you unbiased verdict on what they do or don’t like about their cars? J. D. Power and Associates – a world renowned marketing and consumer satisfaction researcher – have come up with a convenient score system to evaluate how satisfied people are with their new cars after having used them for two years.

The surveys take place in major European countries and the USA. A sample of 17,000 motorists is chosen. They are asked to award their cars points (from 0 to 1,000) across various key points including vehicle appeal (car design, interior and ergonomic properties, performance, driveability), reliability (maintenance costs, fuel consumption) and satisfaction with the dealer and aftersales support.

Research data for the UK, Germany and France was released recently and although you’d expect the top lists being totally different, there are many similar features despite the cultural and life-style differences.

Adding it All Up

We merged the three studies into one by summing up the score each car manufacturer has received in all three countries.

The total score includes only the cars that had received points in all three countries. Although Lexus was the best loved new car in the UK, French and German motorists haven’t been too keen on the luxury Japanese car manufacturer and the sample has been too small to score Lexus any points in those countries.

Daihatsu is relatively popular in Germany but doesn’t clock almost any sales in the UK and France at all. We’ve also had to drop Mitsubishi from the final table because the famous Japanese manufacturer proved to be a rarity when it came to summarize the French survey data.

  UK  France  Germany  Total
Honda 833 796 824 2453
Mercedes-Benz 821 782 839 2442
Audi 812 788 820 2420
MINI 822 767 827 2416
BMW 817 782 815 2414
Škoda 825 767 820 2412
Mazda 799 777 831 2407
Volvo 811 745 841 2397
Volkswagen 805 784 806 2395
Toyota  805 769 814 2388
Nissan 802 770 798 2370
Industry Average 794 753 807 2354
Alfa Romeo 805 750 794 2349
Ford 790 744 810 2344
Hyundai 792 751 797 2340
Seat 778 755 804 2337
Kia 783 748 795 2326
Citroën 790 755 774 2319
Vauxhall/Opel 763 762 793 2318
Peugeot 771 755 791 2317
Renault 775 739 800 2314
Suzuki 764 731 798 2293
Fiat 776 727 786 2289
Chevrolet 766 720 730 2216

The most consistent part of the three charts is Chevrolet and Vauxhall/Opel scoring low points. In fact, Chevrolet gets the lowest total score, which probably makes GM chief Dan Akerson’s ambition to prove that Chevrolet is a “killer brand within the global market” a rather ridiculous effort.

As to the overall best, although Honda comes on top, you can see that the first 7 brands have very few points to separate them. Possibly the biggest surprise is all three French manufacturers (Renault, Citroen and Peugeot) doing really poorly in the survey. Even the widely-known French patriotism doesn’t help them – French national survey clearly shows that the times when they gave preference to their local manufacturers are well and truly over.

People Still Hesitant About Surveys

At Creditplus Car Loans, we have noticed that people don’t necessarily take surveys like these into consideration. Volvo is hardly the most popular car being purchased using car loans. On the other hand – the sales leaders – Volkswagen, BMW and Audi – are not performing particularly well in the J. D. Power’s UK survey, however, people having once purchased one of the aforementioned German cars, are likely to choose the same make again despite being aware that the cars will have retained the same characteristic faults.

It all shows that, although the modern marketing surveys are relatively accurate in reflecting the customer opinion, the majority of people are conservative in their choice, remaining loyal to their preferred car make and ready to forgive their cars the common faults and shortcomings.

The country-specific scores follow:

UK UK scores France French scores Germany German scores
Lexus 845 Honda 796 Volvo 841
Honda 833 Audi 788 Mercedes-Benz 839
Jaguar 825 Volvo 784 Mazda 831
Škoda 825 BMW 782 MINI 827
MINI 822 Mercedes-Benz 782 Honda 824
Mercedes-Benz 821 Mazda 777 Audi 820
BMW 817 Nissan 770 Škoda 820
Audi 812 Dacia 769 BMW 815
Volvo 811 Toyota 769 Toyota 814
Alfa Romeo 805 MINI 767 Dacia 811
Toyota 805 Skoda 767 Ford 810
Volkswagen 805 Volkswagen 762 Industry Average 807
Nissan 802 Citroën 755 Volkswagen 806
Land Rover 801 Peugeot 755 Seat 804
Mazda 799 Seat 755 Porsche 802
Industry Average 794 Industry Average 753 Renault 800
Hyundai 792 Hyundai 751 Nissan 798
SAAB 792 Alfa Romeo 750 Suzuki 798
Citroën 790 Kia 748 Hyundai 797
Ford 790 Opel 745 Kia 795
Kia 783 Ford 744 Alfa Romeo 794
Seat 778 Renault 739 Vauxhall/Opel 793
Fiat 776 Suzuki 731 Peugeot 791
Renault 775 Fiat 727 Fiat 786
Mitsubishi 773 Chevrolet 720 smart 779
Peugeot 771 Daihatsu 777
Chevrolet 766 Mitsubishi 776
Suzuki 764 Citroën 774
Vauxhall/Opel 763 Chevrolet 730

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