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Car Buyers Give Lexus Top Score in American Customer Satisfaction Index

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Old 08-14-07, 10:44 AM   #1
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Default Car Buyers Give Lexus Top Score in American Customer Satisfaction Index

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Car Buyers Give Toyota Lexus Top Score

By DEE-ANN DURBIN, AP Auto Writer

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


(08-14) 04:51 PDT DETROIT, (AP) --

U.S. car buyers appear to be more satisfied with their purchases than ever, despite some quality stumbles by Asian brands, according to a survey released Tuesday.


The consumer satisfaction rate for vehicles rose 1 point this year to a score of 82 out of 100, a record in the 12-year history of the University of Michigan's American Customer Satisfaction Index.


Toyota Motor Corp.'s luxury Lexus had a score of 87. Rounding out the top performers with scores of 86 were BMW, General Motors Corp.'s Buick and Cadillac, and Ford Motor Co.'s Lincoln and Mercury brands.


The survey noted that Japanese and Korean automakers saw their largest single-year drop in customer satisfaction since 1996. The Toyota brand, in particular, dropped 3 points to 84, which the survey blamed on increasing vehicle recalls and poor customer service.


Claes Fornell, head of the index, said U.S. automakers are narrowing the gap with their Asian rivals but they're still behind. Chrysler's Jeep, for example, was the worst performer in the survey, with a score of 75.


In July, domestic brands saw their sales drop below 50 percent of the U.S. market for the first time in history. Toyota surpassed GM in global vehicle sales for the first half of the calendar year, selling 4.72 million vehicle to GM's 4.67 million. Many analysts believe Toyota will likely beat GM for the full year in both sales and production.


Still, Toyota's troubles give domestic brands an opening, Fornell said.


"I think some people would be surprised at this because after all, Toyota is highly regarded," he said, adding that Toyota is aware of the difficulties. "If you grow at this level all the time, it's simply more difficult to make sure everything is done all right."


In the survey, people who bought cars within the past three years were asked to rate their satisfaction level compared with their expectations. They also were asked to rate how their vehicle compares with the ideal vehicle, and to rate their overall satisfaction.


The survey questioned approximately 11,312 people by telephone from April through June. It had a margin of error of plus or minus 1 point when rating the entire industry and 2 points on individual manufacturers, Fornell said.

AP Auto Writer Tom Krisher in Detroit contributed to this report.
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Old 08-14-07, 11:24 AM   #2
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Toyota needs to stop the bleeding. Quality before quantity, remember...
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Old 08-14-07, 11:57 AM   #3
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I think Toyota sees all this and is attempting to fix.
Its funny being on this forum all these years and seeing Lexus #1 or near tops in so many surveys every time. Amazing.
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Old 08-14-07, 12:08 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by 1SICKLEX View Post
I think Toyota sees all this and is attempting to fix.
Its funny being on this forum all these years and seeing Lexus #1 or near tops in so many surveys every time. Amazing.
and honestly i think maybe they should slow down a bit on their aggressive development plan and focus on quality first. it can kill them
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Old 08-14-07, 01:23 PM   #5
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Default Lexus barely number 1 in customer satifiscation

Has Lexus gotten worse or the other guys have gotten a lot better? Hardly any difference between first and last place.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20251118/

Toyota-Lexus 87
BMW 86
General Motors Corp.-Buick 86
General Motors Corp.-Cadillac 86
Ford Motor Co.-Lincoln/Mercury 86
Honda Motor Co. 84
Toyota Motor Corp.-Toyota 84
Hyundai Motor Co. 83
Mercedes-Benz 83
GM-GMC 82
GM-Chevrolet 82
GM-Saturn 82
Avg. for all automakers 82
Nissan Motor Co. 80
GM-Pontiac 80
Chrysler-Dodge 80
Volkswagen AG 80
Ford-Ford 80
Chrysler-Chrysler 79
Mazda Motor Co. 78
Kia Motors Co. 78
Chrysler-Jeep 75
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Old 08-14-07, 03:50 PM   #6
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and honestly i think maybe they should slow down a bit on their aggressive development plan and focus on quality first. it can kill them
Toyota has already said they're slowing down their aggressive development and growth pace to focus on quality and service . Things should improve from here on in.
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Old 08-14-07, 04:33 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by sdbrandon View Post
Has Lexus gotten worse or the other guys have gotten a lot better? Hardly any difference between first and last place.


Toyota-Lexus 87
BMW 86
General Motors Corp.-Buick 86
General Motors Corp.-Cadillac 86
Ford Motor Co.-Lincoln/Mercury 86
Honda Motor Co. 84
Toyota Motor Corp.-Toyota 84
Hyundai Motor Co. 83
Mercedes-Benz 83
GM-GMC 82
GM-Chevrolet 82
GM-Saturn 82
Avg. for all automakers 82
Nissan Motor Co. 80
GM-Pontiac 80
Chrysler-Dodge 80
Volkswagen AG 80
Ford-Ford 80
Chrysler-Chrysler 79
Mazda Motor Co. 78
Kia Motors Co. 78
Chrysler-Jeep 75

Both. If you have owned a 90s Lexus and also owned a mid 2000 Lexus it is pretty clear the old saying "They don't make um like they used to" applies. The Lexus cars of today are still very reliable, but IMHO they are not how they used to be. Combine that with the fact that lots of other manufacturers are improving and that closes the gap quickly. Lexus was fortunate it had such a head start over most of the others. Personally, I thought Porsche ranked very high if not first in other peoples studies when it came to customer satisfaction. Where did Porsche rank on this list?
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Old 08-14-07, 04:37 PM   #8
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Both. If you have owned a 90s Lexus and also owned a mid 2000 Lexus it is pretty clear the old saying "They don't make um like they used to" applies. The Lexus cars of today are still very reliable, but IMHO they are not how they used to be. Combine that with the fact that lots of other manufacturers are improving and that closes the gap quickly. Lexus was fortunate it had such a head start over most of the others. Personally, I thought Porsche ranked very high if not first in other peoples studies when it came to customer satisfaction. Where did Porsche rank on this list?
Head start? No, Lexus awoke sleeping giants and the industry as a whole, showing you can build a top luxury car and have top quality.

Lexus has everyone doing better. Lexus cars as well as other cars are more complicated. Its a business and there will be a time Lexus quality does go down and others improve. I for one am glad everyone is doing better.

And those ringing the death bell the past 18 years can have their cake
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Old 08-14-07, 04:52 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by 1SICKLEX View Post
Head start? No, Lexus awoke sleeping giants and the industry as a whole, showing you can build a top luxury car and have top quality.

Lexus has everyone doing better. Lexus cars as well as other cars are more complicated. Its a business and there will be a time Lexus quality does go down and others improve. I for one am glad everyone is doing better.

And those ringing the death bell the past 18 years can have their cake
You know what I mean by head start. I mean they had a large gap all these years because they were so far a head of most others. I don't buy the complication of the cars much. If that were the case I can see electrical issues popping up more, or major complicated component failure. But not tranny issues, not the squeaks and rattles, not the fit and finish. I know you've owned a lot of Lexus cars, and probably took them apart. You can't say the new Lexus cars are better put together than those of the past. In the 90s you bought a Toyota or Lexus and you knew the engine and tranny were bullet proof. Today, while most are still great trannies, you have to keep it in the back of your mind that you might have tranny issues, You may not have problems, but you might. It is not just Toyota/Lexus either, Honda/Acura suffered from that starting from the late 90s. Never before would it enter my mind that a Honda/Acura engine or trans might have problems before. Now you have to think about it just like Toyota/Lexus. All this drive by wire and stuff is nothing new. Others got it right a long time ago. Lexus seems to still be having little issues with it "IF" they are blaming the funky tranny shifts on the fact it is a learning transmission. IMHO cars like the new IS/GS is nowhere near as well built like my SC400 and LS400. These were a 93 and a 99. The fit and finish is just not the same. I'd still buy them of course since they are still the leaders in the industry, but I find it hard to believe even you think they are build the same like in the past. They are much nicer and plusher, but that is about it.

Don't get me wrong. You know me. I really don't care where anyone stands in the rankings. If Lexus was average but still offered me what I wanted I'd still buy it. That is why I still have a BMW I buy the cars I like, not the cars that rank high in surveys.
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Old 08-14-07, 05:06 PM   #10
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You know what I mean by head start. I mean they had a large gap all these years because they were so far a head of most others. I don't buy the complication of the cars much. If that were the case I can see electrical issues popping up more, or major complicated component failure. But not tranny issues, not the squeaks and rattles, not the fit and finish. I know you've owned a lot of Lexus cars, and probably took them apart. You can't say the new Lexus cars are better put together than those of the past. In the 90s you bought a Toyota or Lexus and you knew the engine and tranny were bullet proof. Today, while most are still great trannies, you have to keep it in the back of your mind that you might have tranny issues, You may not have problems, but you might. It is not just Toyota/Lexus either, Honda/Acura suffered from that starting from the late 90s. Never before would it enter my mind that a Honda/Acura engine or trans might have problems before. Now you have to think about it just like Toyota/Lexus. All this drive by wire and stuff is nothing new. Others got it right a long time ago. Lexus seems to still be having little issues with it "IF" they are blaming the funky tranny shifts on the fact it is a learning transmission. IMHO cars like the new IS/GS is nowhere near as well built like my SC400 and LS400. These were a 93 and a 99. The fit and finish is just not the same. I'd still buy them of course since they are still the leaders in the industry, but I find it hard to believe even you think they are build the same like in the past. They are much nicer and plusher, but that is about it.

Don't get me wrong. You know me. I really don't care where anyone stands in the rankings. If Lexus was average but still offered me what I wanted I'd still buy it. That is why I still have a BMW I buy the cars I like, not the cars that rank high in surveys.
Chris only the first sentence was too you, my apologies if you thought the whole post was in response....

However I do agree that older Lexus were built like tanks. They HAD to be, they were entering unchartered territory. Toyota could NOT screw up. They might possibly be some of the best cars ever assembled.

We also have to remember Lexus went from selling 76,000 cars its first year (maybe 90k worldwide) to currently 320,000 in the USA and over 400,000 worldwide.

Not making excuses for the most part I agree with you.
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Old 08-14-07, 05:09 PM   #11
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Chris only the first sentence was too you, my apologies if you thought the whole post was in response....

However I do agree that older Lexus were built like tanks. They HAD to be, they were entering unchartered territory. Toyota could NOT screw up. They might possibly be some of the best cars ever assembled.

We also have to remember Lexus went from selling 76,000 cars its first year (maybe 90k worldwide) to currently 320,000 in the USA and over 400,000 worldwide.

Not making excuses for the most part I agree with you.
No apologies needed Mike. We are not arguing We are "Car Chatting"
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Old 08-14-07, 06:23 PM   #12
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I don't think this is a reliability/build quality survey, but overall satisfaction of the car purchase, so I think other factors such as performance, handling, design, etc. are also factored in.
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Old 08-14-07, 06:23 PM
 
 
 
 
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