Study: US car buyers’ satisfaction with domestic brands drops

GMC is the only U.S. brand to make the ACSI’s top tier list this year. Photo credit: Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.
ANN ARBOR, Mich., - 

While foreign-made vehicles continue to have the highest driver satisfaction, customer satisfaction with American vehicles remains strained, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI).

“Overall, the gap between international and domestic manufacturers has widened because of the downturn for U.S. cars,” ACSI said in a news release announcing the findings of its ACSI Automobile Report 2017.

Of the 25 automakers the ACSI examined for its latest report, 12 brands have improved from a year ago, and eight have declined.  Four of the eight automakers are domestic brands.

U.S. companies have fallen to a score of 80 on the ACSI scale of 0 to 100, while European Japanese and Korean manufacturers each carry an ACSI score of 82.

Among Detroit automakers specifically, GM is the only brand to improve customer satisfaction this year.

GM leads with an ACSI score of 82, then Ford at 81, followed by Fiat Chrysler at 77, according to ACSI.

While Jeep saw an increase of 3 percent this year, with an ACSI score of 80, the brand trails GM.

Additionally, GM’s GMC, with a score of 84, is the only domestic nameplate to make the ACSI’s top five list.

Seventy-seven percent of the above-average nameplates in the ACSI are foreign imports.

With an ACSI score of 86, Toyota is the highest-scoring automaker this year in both mass-market and luxury-vehicle categories.

Interestingly, Honda’s ACSI score dropped 6 percent this year and joins Chevrolet with a score of 81. Chevrolet saw its customer satisfaction fall by 2 percent.

ACSI surveyed 3,934 customers, chosen at random via email between July 1, 2016, and June 20, 2017, for the report, according to the company.

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