Survey: Car service levels still improving

The cars we buy and the service we get are still getting better and better each year. That’s the conclusion reached in the fourth JD Power & Associates/Car Magazine 2007 South Africa customer satisfaction index (CSI) study released earlier this week.

Honda and Toyota took the lion’s share of the category awards, with four apiece.
For Honda, the Civic, CR-V, FR-V and the Jazz each took top honours in their segments, while Toyota’s Avensis, Hilux, Land Cruiser Prado and now-discontinued Tazz brought home the bacon for the Prospecton manufacturer.

The survey used input from almost 9 000 new-vehicle owners who registered their cars between October 2005 and September 2006. Satisfaction was measured over four factors, with the importance of each affecting its weighting. Quality and reliability counted 32%, vehicle appeal was valued at 29%, dealership service satisfaction was considered to be worth 19%, and cost of ownership accounted for 20% of the scoring.

The vehicle appeal factor included performance, styling, features and comfort, while cost of ownership took things such as fuel consumption, cost of servicing and repairs, and insurance into account.

Other models receiving awards were the BMW X5, the Fiat Panda and the Opel Corsa Utility.

Honda came out as the top brand overall, with Mercedes-Benz slotting into second spot. Audi, BMW and Volvo filled out the rest of the top five positions.

Of interest to you, me and all the other car buyers out there is that overall satisfaction is improving steadily, with a record average score being achieved for the second year in a row—at 795 points out of 1 000, the 2007 score is five points higher than in 2006.

Honda topped out for the second consecutive year with 873 points, while Mercedes-Benz’s second-place score of 856 was an improvement of 21 points over last year.

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