Posted by Dale Buss on March 15, 2013 04:43 PM
General Motors brands and Lexus were the big winners when J.D. Power & Associates announced its highly regarded annual awards for dealership-customer satisfaction based on its survey of thousands of American automotive consumers.
Three GM brands—led by GMC, and also including No. 3 Buick and No. 4 Chevrolet—placed in the top five in Power's prestigious designation. No. 2 Mini and No. 5 Volkswagen rounded out the top five. Three Chrysler Group brands—Jeep, Ram and Dodge—finished at the bottom.
In the luxury arena, Lexus once again won the day—for the fifth straight year—followed by yet another GM brand, Cadillac; Jaguar; Acura; and Infiniti. BMW and Mercedes-Benz placed below average, while Land Rover gained the most of any luxury brand from last year.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on December 3, 2012 02:22 PM
As vehicles cluster closer together at ever-higher levels in objective measures of quality, such as manufacturing defects and "fit-and-finish," more subjective indicators are helping to differentiate brand perceptions about "quality." Customer treatment in dealer showrooms and dealings with brands' retail reprentatives increasingly are one of those.
Obviously, Lexus and Mini have a firm grip on this increasingly important dynamic. Lexus finished first for the second straight year among luxury brands in the US according the latest annual rating by J.D. Power & Associates of customer satisfaction with the auto-buying experience, and MINI finished first among mainstream brands for the third time in a row.
Power based its findings on 32,000 owner surveys in May, measuring satisfaction with the selling process at dealerships where they made their purchase and at any store where they shopped but didn't buy, according to Automotive News. Overall for the industry, greater consumer satisfaction with salespeople helped raise the general score.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 29, 2012 09:06 AM
Airbus and Boeing aim at each other in advertising spat.
CNN prospects weighed under Jeff Zucker.
Canadian Club launches "Join the Club" red-meat campaign.
Carnival apologizes to gay passengers after forbidding drag dress on cruise.
Chevrolet sees Volt ranked as best-loved car by Consumer Reports.
Costco to spend $3 billion on special dividend ahead of fiscal cliff.
Exxon faces short-term shortage of oil supplies.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 31, 2012 05:13 PM
Ford's fall from grace with Consumer Reports has been breathtaking. The brand finished in second-to-last place, 27th of 28, in the magazine's closely watched, newly released automotive-reliability ratings — just three years after the bible of product quality praised Ford as the only domestic automaker with "world-class reliabilty."
Stunningly, Ford still apparently hasn't corrected its huge problems — real and perceived — with its MyFord Touch system, which continues to confuse some customers even a year and a half after Ford publicly acknowledged the usability problems with what is essentially Sync 2.0.
"They've put out some updates to try to address some of those problems for both the transmissions and the infotainment controls, but it doesn't seem to be enough," Jake Fisher, director of testing for Consumer Reports, commented on the most and least reliable rankings to the Detroit Free Press.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on August 20, 2012 06:24 PM
In an auto market more competitive than any in memory, the American automobile dealer is the locus of hope for many of the brands in the derby. Because of that, Chrysler has become the latest carmaker to plan an overhaul of how it works with dealers to get consumers to buy cars.
Chrysler is killing traditional dealer financial incentives for attaining documented "customer satisfaction," as well as eliminating penalties for dealers who don't build stores that meet the company's requirements for physical facilities. Both have been sacrosanct elements of the playbooks for car brands over the years.
But Chrysler decided that the new era in the market calls for bagging its previous carrot-and-stick approach to its dealers and for letting dealers sink or swim based on their own approaches to winning the satisfaction of their customers. Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on June 21, 2012 08:51 AM
McDonald's UK will introduce Mad Men-inspired uniforms at London 2012 Olympics venue.
Kia Soul scores in J.D. Power auto quality study while Lexus repeats as #1 overall and Ford and Chrysler slip in key automotive rankings.
Starbucks to open first tea-only store under Tazo brand.
Facebook Credits system is being phased out for new payment platform, while IPO attracts Capitol Hill inquiry, "like" button migrates to third-party mobile apps, and unique visitors drop.
Apple fined in Australia for misleading iPad advertising.
BlackBerry-maker RIM downsizes workforce.
Cabot to buy Norit for $1.1 billion.
Cannes Lions announces winners for creative effectiveness, media, mobile and outdoor.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 15, 2012 03:02 PM
In his recent interview on 60 Minutes, Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne mentioned only two future products: a new Maserati SUV (the China-oriented Kubang) that will be built in Detroit, and the upcoming Dodge Dart compact sedan, which is beginning to roll off a Chrysler assembly line in Belvedere, Ill. One of his main points to CBS correspondent Steve Kroft was that Dart will be "mechanically" sound.
Chrysler needs that to be the case. Amid all of the success and progress that the company has enjoyed since getting up off the mat in 2009 — big sales gains, positive Super Bowl buzz for its Clint Eastwood "Halftime in America" commercial, a raft of generally well received new products (including a key green car nod for the Chrysler 300) — the one bugaboo that the company hasn't been able to get past is its reputation for poor quality.
Even though it has improved markedly over the last several years, and under a succession of regimes, the company simply hasn't been able to keep pace with rising quality levels across the rest of the industry. Now, Chrysler executives are determined to banish the quality bogeyman once and for all.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on March 16, 2012 04:57 PM
Brands must understand that customer service is an important part of the "value equation" for consumers these days even though it might seem that price remains their most important criterion for brand satisfaction because of the continued financial struggles of so many Americans.
Apple, Cadillac, Four Seasons, JetBlue, Kohl's, Saks Fifth Avenue, Scotttrade, USAA and Wegmans are among the brands that understand the importance of people as a driver of service excellence has increased substantially these days, and that's why they were among the 50 brands named this week by J.D. Power & Associates as 2012 Customer Service Champions.Continue reading...