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.
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|
|Industry Average||794||Industry Average||753||Renault||800|