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April 14, 2005

UK: JD Power reports Mini most-improved brand in customer satisfaction survey; Lexus tops table, obviously

UK motorists rate the BMW-owned Mini as the most-improved brand in the JD Power and Associates/What Car? magazine 2005 Car Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) StudySM released today, and luxury Japanese brand Lexus tops the overall rankings for the fifth consecutive year.

UK motorists rate the BMW-owned  Mini as the most-improved brand in the JD Power and Associates/What Car? magazine 2005 Car Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) StudySM released today, and luxury Japanese brand Lexus tops the overall rankings for the fifth consecutive year.

Mini, which is included in the study for only the second year, is the most-improved brand with an increase of 19 index points in its total score, taking it to sixth place in the overall rankings.  Owners of the Mini, built in Oxford, report substantial improvements in the brand’s quality and reliability.  Mini is one of five British-built cars in the Top 20, matching the number of Japanese-built models ranked at the top of the study.

With a score of 848 index points (on a 1,000-point scale), Lexus retains its position as the most satisfying brand to own.  Czech carmaker Skoda closely follows Lexus in second place with 847 index points.  Honda ranks third with 843 index points, a 14-point increase from 2004.

In the model rankings, the Honda Jazz ranks as the top model for the second consecutive year, scoring significantly higher than any other model.  Three other Honda models place in the Top 20, including the Swindon-made Civic and CR-V.  The Lexus IS 200/300 places second among the 124 models, and the Toyota Yaris ranks third.  Japanese brands do not dominate the 2005 model rankings as they have in previous years, with 10 Japanese models ranking in the Top 20, compared to 14 in 2004.

“This year’s results show that the competition is getting tighter,” said Dave Sargent, executive director of European operations at J.D. Power and Associates.  “While Lexus still leads, other brands are improving quickly, and many of the best performances this year are achieved by models from brands such as Honda, Toyota, Skoda, Mini and Kia.  It is encouraging for UK motorists that good-quality, satisfying cars come in all shapes and sizes and at all price levels. Also, many of the leading models, including some from Japanese brands, are built right here in the UK.”

Among the 17 brands ranked above the overall industry average, seven are nameplates from Japan, with other nameplates from the UK, Germany, Sweden, Czech Republic and Korea also ranking above the average.

Commenting on the findings of the study, What Car? Group Editor, Steve Fowler said: “Although Japanese brands continue to perform well in the 2005 study, many British-built cars match their Far-Eastern rivals for satisfaction. Cars built in the UK, such as the Mini, Honda Civic and CR-V and Toyota’s Corolla and Avensis show that British factories are building some of the best cars.”

However, the survey showed some UK-based brands near the bottom of the table, most notably troubled MG-Rover and Ford-owned Land Rover.

The 2005 J.D. Power and Associates/What Car? study is based on the evaluations of more than 23,000 owners of ‘52’ and ‘03’ registration vehicles after an average of two years of ownership.  The study includes 32 brands and 124 models.  Owners provide detailed evaluations of their vehicles and selling dealers, which covers 77 attributes grouped into four main factors of satisfaction. The importance of each factor is shown as a percentage:

·         Quality and Reliability (30%)

·         Vehicle Appeal (28%) includes performance, design, comfort and features

·         Dealer Service Satisfaction (22%)

·         Ownership Costs (19%) includes fuel consumption, insurance and costs of service/repair

 

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