Toyota vehicles top the rankings in three out of six individual award categories, according to the JD Power and Associates/L'Automobile Magazine 2005 France Customer Satisfaction Index study.

BMW models top the rankings in two categories, while Mazda leads in the sixth category.

The study is the first industry-wide automotive study conducted in France by JD Power and Associates and is published in cooperation with L'Automobile Magazine (Motor Presse France group). The France CSI study measures vehicle ownership satisfaction among four key measures.

The results for the France CSI study are based on responses from more than 16,000 French motorists who rated their experiences with their vehicle, the dealer, and the cost of vehicle ownership.  The study provides information regarding 25 ranked brands and 95 ranked models after an average of approximately 2½ years on the road.

The study recognizes individual car models with awards in six different segments: small car, lower medium, upper medium, executive/luxury, MPV and SUV, with Toyota capturing three of the individual segment awards. The awardees in each segment are: Toyota Yaris Verso (small car), Toyota Corolla (lower medium), BMW 3 Series (upper medium), BMW 5 Series (executive/luxury), Toyota Land Cruiser (SUV) and Mazda Premacy (MPV/minivan)

In a ranking of nameplates based on overall customer satisfaction, Honda leads the industry as the most satisfying brand to own with an index score of 819 (based on a 1,000-point scale).  Honda performs particularly well in the quality/reliability and service satisfaction measures. Honda is followed closely in the rankings by BMW with an index score of 816. BMW performs well in the vehicle appeal measure. Toyota, Mazda, Volvo, Skoda, Ford, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Peugeot and Renault all perform above the industry average (777 index points). Renault and Peugeot perform particularly well in the ownership costs measure.

"The study shows that there is a wide gap between the vehicles that give high levels of satisfaction to owners and those that do not, suggesting that there is room for the industry to do more to meet the needs of vehicle owners in France," said Stuart Crawford-Browne, research manager at JD Power and Associates in Europe.

"As in other markets, Honda, BMW and Toyota perform well, but French manufacturers show that they are competitive with other high-volume brands," he added. "We expected local manufacturers to perform well for ownership costs, but to see Renault, Peugeot and Citroën placed in the top three positions indicates how well they meet customer expectations in this area."