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Lexus and GMC top latest J.D. Power customer-service rankings

March 13, 2013|By Ronald D. White
  • Lexus was the top-ranked luxury car brand in J.D. Power's latest survey on customer service, while GMC top the rankings for "mass market" vehicles.
Lexus was the top-ranked luxury car brand in J.D. Power's latest survey… (Pat Wellenbach / Associated…)

Drivers gave the service departments of Lexus and GMC the highest ratings in the latest J.D. Power & Associates survey on customer service.

The results, released Wednesday,  mark GMC's first time at the top of the rankings, Chris Sutton, senior director of automotive retail for J.D. Power, said in an interview.

The rankings are based on a survey late last year of more than 91,000 people who owned or leased 2008 to 2012 model-year vehicles

Five measures were examined to determine overall satisfaction with dealer service. Listed in order of importance, they were "service quality, service initiation, service advisor, service facility and vehicle pickup," J.D. Power says in its report.

The index is based on a 1,000 point scale.

Toyota Motor Corp.'s Lexus unit again ranked as the top luxury brand with an overall score of 862. Lexus earned points from customers for its performance in service initiation, service facilities and overall quality.

Lexus was followed in the luxury segment by Cadillac (858), Jaguar (856), Acura (852) and Infiniti (848). Trailing the field were Mercedes-Benz (832), Volvo (830) and Land Rover (825).

GMC led the so-called mass-market brands with a score of 819. Drivers felt that GMC "performs particularly well in service initiation, service advisor, service facility and service quality," J.D. Power said.

Rounding out the top five in the mass-market brands were Mini (810), Buick (809), Chevrolet (806) and Volkswagen (804).

At the bottom of the mass-market rankings were Subaru (772), Dodge (762), Ram (759) and Jeep (752.).

Sutton said that the results illustrate a fierce competition to give customers improved service.

"Manufacturers and the dealerships are streamlining the process, greeting customers quickly, making it easier to get appointments," Sutton said.

"They are moving faster on the paperwork. Service advisors are doing better at setting expectations and communicating the status of the work," Sutton added.

Average overall customer satisfaction with service at a dealer facility has increased to 797, up 29 points since 2011, the report says.

Overall satisfaction with dealer service facilities averaged 44 index points higher than satisfaction with independent auto service centers, a gap that is six points wider than in the report released last year.

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