Lexus has praised its retail network for helping it achieve Gold status in the latest JD Power customer satisfaction survey, published this week. Parent brand Toyota slipped out of the top three to number four.
The Japanese carmaker took first place for the fourth year in a row, scoring 878 points out of a possible 1,000. Dealers scored highly when it came to customer service satisfaction, waiting time and proportion of work done right first time.
“Total commitment and positive attitudes from our centres plays a major role in keeping customers happy,” a Lexus spokesman says. “After all, it is the customer who responds to this survey.”
Success in the JD Power survey sustains a good start to the year for Lexus, which also gained the highest approval ratings in AM sister company Sewell's annual Fleet Operators Attitude Survey for the third consecutive year and number one in the Retail Motor Industry Federation's dealer attitude survey.
Year-to-date, Lexus sales are up 40% at 3,006 units, with RX300 and 2004 model year IS models driving customer demand.
Toyota, second last year, was leapfrogged by Skoda which took second place with 852 points (2003: 836 points). Mazda was third and took the title of most improved brand, adding to its recent accolade as AM carmaker of the Year.
Overall, dealer service satisfaction was up 20% while ownership costs, which include the cost of service and repair, rose 18%. Vehicle quality and reliability rose 41% and vehicle appeal was up 26%.
British-built models fared badly overall with Land Rover and MG Rover propping up the table with Alfa Romeo. Fourteen of the top 20 models ranked were Japanese with the Honda Jazz named by drivers as the most satisfying car to own.
The JD Power survey was conducted among drivers of cars registered between September 1, 2001 and August 31, 2002. The results were drawn up from more than 23,000 questionnaires.