U.S automakers still lagging behind foreign brands image

According to a new survey of customer satisfaction in the United States, the ‘Big Three’ automakers are more than ever behind imported car brands as the gap stretched to its widest point in five years.

The 2013 American Consumer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) finds GM, Ford and Chrysler have an average score of 82 (on a scale between 0 and 100) which is below the industry average of 83. Asian brands have an average score of just over 84, slightly behind European brands, which lead the ACSI with an average just under 85.

David VanAmburg, Director of the ACSI, said domestic automakers may be losing focus as they add more shifts and run their plants at capacity. “U.S. automakers may be stretched too thin, ramping-up production to meet rising demand,” says David VanAmburg. “Quality may be giving way to quantity.”

It’s a troubling slide for the American auto brands. Just five years ago, the Big 3 and the Asian auto brands were in a virtual tie when it came to customer satisfaction.
Mercedes-Benz topped the list of top auto brands in the latest ACSI with a score of 88. It jumped past Lexus, which lead the survey last year. Meanwhile, Dodge and Chevrolet tied for last place in the ACSI as the only brands with scores of 79. Chevy’s rating dropped 6%.