PARIS – For a second consecutive year, the Toyota Prius is the highest-ranking model in satisfying new-car owners in France, according to the J.D. Power and Associates/L’Automobile Magazine 2008 France Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) Study released today.
The France Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) Study, now in its fourth year, is based on the evaluations of more than 18,000 French car owners after an average of two years of ownership. The study includes 25 brands and 109 models. Owners provide detailed evaluations of their vehicles and dealers, which covers 77 attributes grouped in four measurements of satisfaction. In order of importance, they are: quality and reliability (38%); vehicle appeal (22%), which includes performance, design, comfort and features; ownership costs (20%), including fuel consumption, insurance and costs of service/repair; and dealer service satisfaction (19%).
The study finds that the Prius earns a score of 867 on a 1,000-point scale, improving 9 index points since 2007. Prius owners report particularly high satisfaction levels with the model’s ownership costs, and quality and reliability.
Toyota ranks highest in three model-level segments with the Corolla Verso, Land Cruiser and Prius. Audi, BMW, Citroën and Honda each receive one model award.
The highest-ranked models in each of the study’s seven segments are:
- Citroën C1 (basic car)
- Honda Jazz (small car)
- Audi A3 (lower medium car)
- Toyota Prius (upper medium car)
- BMW 5 Series (executive/luxury car)
- Toyota Corolla Verso (MPV)
- Toyota Land Cruiser (SUV)
In the nameplate rankings, BMW ranks highest with a score of 815. Following BMW in the rankings in a tie are Audi, Honda and Mercedes-Benz with 814 each. Audi performs particularly well in two key measures of satisfaction: vehicle appeal, and vehicle quality and reliability. Skoda follows Audi, Honda and Mercedes-Benz to rank fifth with a score of 808 among nameplates.
“Premium brands Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz all show a strong performance in vehicle quality/reliability,” said Martin Volk, senior research manager at J.D. Power and Associates. “Getting the product right from the launch phase and keeping quality standards at a consistent, high level throughout the entire ownership lifecycle contributes to a satisfying ownership experience, which in turn increases the percentage of customers considering the same brand again for their next new-vehicle purchase. In fact, 50 percent of customers who are highly satisfied with the quality and reliability of their vehicles report they would definitely repurchase their vehicle brand, compared with only 19 percent of customers with lower satisfaction levels saying the same.”
The study also finds that French nameplates continue to demonstrate improvement in overall customer satisfaction. Both brands from the PSA Group—Peugeot and Citroën—receive improved satisfaction scores for the quality and reliability of their vehicles compared with 2007.
“Our monthly reliability surveys and road tests show that the new cars launched by French manufacturers Citroën, Peugeot and Renault, have already improved in vehicle quality,” said Stéphane Meunier, editor in chief of L’Automobile Magazine. “Their dealer networks have also steadily improved. The 2008 J.D. Power and Associates study confirms this positive trend.”
J.D. Power and Associates conducts CSI studies around the world, including Europe (France, Germany, United Kingdom); North America (Canada, Mexico, United States); Asia Pacific (China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand); and Africa (South Africa).
The annual J.D. Power and Associates study is designed to help manufacturers provide high levels of satisfaction to their customers and gives consumers access to reliable and accurate information about many different vehicle models. More comprehensive study results are published exclusively in the July issue of L’Automobile Magazine on sale Thursday, 12 June, 2008.
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