Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Ford and GM products take top honors in customer satisfaction

The Ford Lincoln Mercury and GM's Buick finished atop a well known national customer satisfaction survey out today, the first time U.S. automakers have brands that placed No. 1 and No. 2 in the same year.

Ford's Lincoln Mercury scored 89 out of 100 with GM's Buick just behind at 88, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, reinforcing the comeback talk for two of America's leading automakers.

There are past occasions when individual brands of a domestic auto maker have topped the list (for example, last year, GM's Cadillac tied at the top with Toyota's Lexus). But this is the first time domestic brands have taken the top two spots in the ACSI satisfaction survey, founded by the University of Michigan business school.

All of Detroit's products used to be clustered at the bottom of the industry, says ACSI founder Claes Fornell, author of The Satisfied Customer: Winners and Losers in the Battle for Buyer Preference.

"Although very few car makers improved this year, the domestic ones have either held steady or lost less in customer satisfaction compared to international competition," Fornell says.

In the Tampa Bay market, Fort Lauderdale-based AutoNation owns three Ford, two Chevy and one Cadillac dealership operating under the AutoWay brand. Despite a troubled economy, sales of domestic autos there are up by double digits.

"Before, consumers were not giving Detroit cars much of a look," AutoNation spokesman Marc Cannon says. But Ford and GM got busy introducing better models. And when perennial superpower Toyota got caught in a wave of recall publicity, it "opened the door" for shoppers to look anew at domestic models.

Ford's never required a government bailout and posted a robust $2.6 billion profit in the latest second quarter. And GM just reported a $1.3 billion quarterly profit.

GM was reorganized in bankruptcy court last year with $50 billion in federal aid. The federal government still owns 61 percent of the company, which it hopes to cash in for billions of dollars after the company goes public in the fall.

As for Chrysler, its products still rank near the bottom in ACSI's survey. But AutoNation's Cannon says don't count Chrysler out. It will unveil lots of new vehicles by 2012.

Amid all the banter of rebounding Ford and GM, I got to kick the tires of both companies this summer by renting newer models from each of the Detroit auto makers.

In Denver, I landed a Ford Escape, a right-sized SUV that felt underpowered but only sipped gasoline. It was roomy, even for my tall frame. My main gripe: Poor visibility when backing up.

Later, in California, it was GM's turn with a Chevy Malibu. Years earlier, I had driven a Malibu rental with good results. Alas, some "short" sighted GM designers must have gotten their clutches on restyling the Malibu. I literally was forced to adopt advanced yoga positions just to get into this car, and I scrunched while driving thanks to a lack of headroom.

It's premature to declare Ford and GM woes behind them. But making more customers more satisfied is a sure way to make up for some long lost ground.

Contact Robert Trigaux at trigaux@sptimes.com

Satisfied? Auto makers rankings

The American Customer Satisfaction Index, on a scale of 0-100, is a national measure of how customers perceive product quality. Here are some of the 2010 rankings out Tuesday, and how they changed from last year's survey.

Lincoln Mercury (Ford): 89, +1.1%

Buick (GM): 88, 0%

BMW: 86, -1.1%

Cadillac: 86, -3.4%

Mercedes-Benz: 86, 0%

Lexus (Toyota): 85, -4.5%

Honda: 84, -4.5%

Toyota: 84, -2.3%

Ford: 82, -1.2%

Auto industry: 82, -2.4%

Hyundai: 82, -3.5%

Nissan: 82, +5.1%

Volkswagen: 81, -5.8%

Chevrolet: 80, -3.6%

Chrysler: 80, -4.8%

Dodge (Chrysler): 78, -3.7%

Jeep (Chrysler): 77, -2.5%

Fast facts

Satisfied? Auto makers rankings

The American Customer Satisfaction Index, on a scale of 0-100, is a national measure of how customers perceive product quality. Here are some of the 2010 rankings out today, and how they changed from last year's survey.

Lincoln Mercury (Ford): 89, +1.1%

Buick (GM): 88, 0%

BMW: 86, -1.1%

Cadillac: 86, -3.4%

Mercedes-Benz: 86, 0%

Lexus (Toyota): 85, -4.5%

Honda: 84, -4.5%

Toyota: 84, -2.3%

Ford: 82, -1.2%

Auto industry: 82, -2.4%

Hyundai: 82, -3.5%

Nissan: 82, +5.1%

Volkswagen: 81, -5.8%

Chevrolet: 80, -3.6%

Chrysler: 80, -4.8%

Dodge (Chrysler): 78, -3.7%

Jeep (Chrysler): 77, -2.5%

Ford and GM products take top honors in customer satisfaction 08/17/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 17, 2010 12:00am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Gators rally past Kentucky, streak hits 31

    Blogs

    LEXINGTON, Ky. — For the second week in a row, Florida found itself storming the field in a game that came down to the last second. A 57-yard field-goal attempt by Kentucky kicker Austin MacGinnis came just a few feet short of making history and snapping a 30-year losing streak, as the No. 20 Gators escaped a …

    Florida wide receiver Brandon Powell (4) scores a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Kentucky, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, in Lexington, Ky.
  2. Pen makes it way too interesting as Rays hang on for 9-6 win

    Blogs

    A couple of home runs provided the news pegs of the night for the Rays, but it was more topical to talk about what nearly happened as they hung on for a 9-6 win over the Orioles.

    Lucas Duda's three-run homer in the third inning was the Rays' record-breaking 217th of the season, as well as his …

  3. An attempt to project what Rays will look like in 2018

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — We know what the Rays look like this year: a team that had enough talent but too many flaws, in construction and performance, and in the next few days will be officially eliminated from a wild-card race it had a chance to win but let slip away.

    Adeiny Hechavarria, high-fiving Lucas Duda, seems likely to be brought back.
  4. Trump fallout: Bucs' DeSean Jackson to make 'statement' Sunday

    Bucs

    Bucs receiver DeSean Jackson said Saturday that he will make a "statement" before today's game against the Vikings in response to President Donald Trump's comment that owners should "fire" players who kneel in protest during the national anthem.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver DeSean Jackson (11) makes a catch during the first half of an NFL game between the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017.
  5. Kriseman invites Steph Curry to St. Pete on Twitter

    Blogs

    Mayor Rick Kriseman is no stranger to tweaking President Donald Trump on social media.

    Mayor Rick Kriseman took to Twitter Saturday evening to wade into President Donald Trump's latest social media scuffle