Buick owners are the most satisfied with maintenance and repair services at the dealership, according to a study recently released by J.D. Power and Associates. Volkswagen earned the second highest customer satisfaction rating among mainstream auto brands, followed by GMC and MINI, which tied for third place. Among luxury brands, Cadillac came out on top, dethroning Lexus, which had been top-ranked for the last five years. Audi and Lexus came in second and third place for 2014, respectively.
Roughly two-thirds of study respondents driving luxury vehicles and 46 percent of those with non-luxury vehicles said they had a maintenance package for the first year of ownership, the study found. That’s up 94 percent for luxury brands and more than 200 percent for mainstream brands since 2009. These packages can include routine services like oil changes, tire rotations and the replacement of belts and brake pads.
“Maintenance packages—whether they’re complimentary or paid for by owners—create a long-term relationship between the customer and dealership, which, when coupled with satisfying service experiences during that period, can have a very positive impact on loyalty rates,” J.D. Power’s Senior Director of U.S. Automotive Retail Practice Chris Sutton said in a statement.
The annual Customer Service Index Study looked at how satisfied customers are with the maintenance and repair services at auto dealerships. The study polled more than 90,000 owners and lessees of vehicles from the 2009 to 2013 model years, and was conducted in late 2013. Owners were asked to rate franchised dealers on their performance, including attention to a customer’s needs, giving advice and keeping owners in the loop about the repair process.
The high satisfaction rate with dealer maintenance at General Motors could be an indication of how customers will respond to the company’s massive ignition switch recall, Sutton told Automotive News. General Motors brands have rated highly in the Customer Service Index Study for several years, with Chevrolet, Buick and GMC being three of the top five brands for the past five years.
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