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GERMANY: Japanese beat quality-conscious locals in home turf survey

By just-auto.com editorial team | 25 November 2004

Japanese carmakers wiped the floor with rivals in a poll of German customer satisfaction, beating several quality-conscious German producers on their own turf, Reuters reported.

DaimlerChrysler's Mercedes brand languished in 31st place in the ADAC-AutoMarxX annual customer satisfaction poll - up one place from a year earlier - while Volkswagen came last in the 33rd place, the report said.

Mercedes nevertheless defended first place in the poll's overall rankings, which are based on six different criteria such as customer satisfaction and brand image, Reuters noted, adding that Volkswagen stayed in sixth place overall, while Toyota became the first foreign manufacturer ever to take the number two overall ranking.

Japanese carmakers took eight of the top 10 places. Only luxury carmaker Porsche at rank five and General Motors' Saab in ninth place were able to crack the Japanese companies' dominance, led by Toyota, Subaru, Honda and Mazda, Reuters said.

Toyota reportedly tied with BMW for second place in the overall rankings, followed by Porsche and Audi.

According to Reuters, the poll showed wide gaps between customer satisfaction and perceptions of carmakers' image.

The news agency said Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Porsche and VW took the first five places in the image rankings, while Toyota climbed to eighth place from 10th.

CAR calculates the AutoMarxX rankings on behalf of the ADAC car club, whose survey was based on responses from more than 42,000 drivers, Reuters noted.