For the first time ever, Ford’s Lincoln-Mercury and General Motors’ Buick have taken top spots in the American Customer Satisfaction Index.
Chrysler Group, meanwhile, fared poorly with its Dodge and Jeep brands at the bottom of the list.
“It’s going to take Chrysler a few years to get back to where they were in terms of customer satisfaction and confidence,” said Tony Faria, an auto industry analyst at the University of Windsor. “It’s taken them a few years to slip to where they are and it will take some time to climb back up.
“Ford and General Motors have done a real good job in terms of customer satisfaction and initial quality,” said Faria. “They’ve introduced some exciting new products which are obviously attracting the attention of consumers.”
Chrysler’s overall score dropped by 4 percent, to 78.
Chrysler’s Dodge, Jeep and Chrysler nameplates all dropped, by 3 percent to 5 percent, in customers’ evaluation of quality, service, and value for the money, according to the report.
The economy continues to weigh on customers’ minds, however, and their estimation of the auto industry as a whole dropped slightly, to 75.9 this year to 76.1 a year ago.
Fornell said this reflects customers’ desire for a continuation of a “cash for clunkers” program in which they saw discounting as a value.
Auto industry rankings, with ACSI scores for 2009 and 2010
1 Lincoln Mercury (Ford) 88, 89
2 Buick (GM) 88, 88
3 BMW 87, 86
4 Cadillac (GM) 89, 86
5 Mercedes-Benz (Daimler) 86, 86
6 Lexus (Toyota) 89, 85
7 GMC (GM) 82, 84
8 Honda 88, 84
9 Toyota (Toyota) 86, 84
10 Ford (Ford) 83, 82