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More car customers getting satisfaction

Efforts to make the new car ownership experience more satisfactory for consumers have paid off, new research suggests.

Results of the JD Power customer satisfaction survey reveal the average 'satisfaction point' for all manufacturers is up seven points from 784 in 2001 to 791 in 2002.

This is good news for manufacturers and dealers who have been striving to meet the needs of increasingly proactive consumers. However, while customer satisfaction is on the up, there is still a big difference between the best and the rest. The study is based on the evaluations of more than 27,000 owners of V and W registration vehicles and covers 33 brands and 144 models.

It asked questions about ownership costs, quality and reliability, service satisfaction and vehicle appeal. Lexus was voted best overall manufacturer followed by Toyota and Skoda. Toyota Yaris was the highest ranked model followed by the Lexus IS200 and the Jaguar XJ series.

Dave Sargent, director of European operations at JD Power and Associates, says the survey proves standards are rising. “Consumers are becoming even more demanding, but manufacturers are responding to the challenge,” says Sargent. “It is encouraging to see that, while premium brands such as Lexus, BMW, Jaguar and Audi continue to do well, less expensive vehicles from Toyota and Skoda also provide high levels of satisfaction.”

Chris Daniell, head of customer service at Skoda Auto UK describes his marque's survey result as a “fantastic achievement”.

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