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Customer satisfaction with automobiles has dropped by a point this year to an index of 81 on the American Customer Satisfaction Index’s 100-point scale, per the ACSI’s latest report [download page]. That still puts the automotive industry in the top tier of industries in customer satisfaction, despite a slip in satisfaction with domestic automakers.

This year, satisfaction with US automakers stands at an index score of 80, slightly below the index scores registered for automakers in Japan/Korea (82) and Europe (80).

Among domestic automakers, GM was the only to experience an increase in satisfaction (to a score of 82), taking over the lead from Ford (which dropped to 81) and Fiat Chrysler (which fell to 77).

Indeed, the study finds higher satisfaction among car buyers with foreign-made cars over domestic ones, as 77% of the above-average nameplates are imports.

Mass Market Vehicles

Among mass market vehicles, 5 of the top 6 are imports, led by Toyota, which gained a point to a score of 86. Honda, last year’s leader, fell 5 points to a score of 81.

Fiat Chrysler’s Dodge and Fiat nameplates ranked last, each with a score of 75.

Customers this year are most satisfied with the dependability (86) of mass-market vehicles, and least satisfied with their gas mileage (79).

Luxury Vehicles

Toyota again led the pack in customer satisfaction, with Lexus registering a 2-point increase to a high score of 86. It was followed by Mercedes-Benz, which improved by 3 points to a score of 84.

The biggest gain among luxury vehicles this year came for the Acura (Honda), which improved by 4 points but nonetheless lagged all other luxury vehicles with a score of 80. The biggest drop was for the Lincoln, Ford’s nameplate, which fell by 4 points to a score of 83.

Recent data from YouGov suggests that American affluents’ opinion of US automakers has improved this year, but Germany is considered by them to be the top producer of automobiles.

About the Data: The report’s findings are based on 3,934 customer surveys collected between July 1, 2016 and June 20, 2017.

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