ACSI Study: Auto Satisfaction is Flat, Big Three Make Slight Gain

The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ASCI) in Ann Arbor released its Automobile Study 2020-2021, which showed overall customer satisfaction with automobiles and light vehicles is unchanged, with a score of 78 out of 100.
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The 2021 Chevrolet Traverse midsize SUV
The 2020-2021 American Customer Satisfaction Index Automobile Study showed overall satisfaction with automobiles stagnate, while the big three made slight gains. This includes General Motors, maker of the Chevrolet Traverse (pictured). // Courtesy of General Motors

The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ASCI) in Ann Arbor released its Automobile Study 2020-2021, which showed overall customer satisfaction with automobiles and light vehicles is unchanged, with a score of 78 out of 100.

European manufacturers kept their lead over Asian and U.S. cars with an ASCI score of 79. Japanese and Korean manufacturers remained unchanged with a score of 78, while U.S. automakers improved for the first time in five years, moving one point up to 77.

Among domestic manufacturers, Ford Motor Co. in Dearborn and General Motors Co. in Detroit sat at 77 percent, with Ford gaining a point to get there. Stellantis in Detroit is third at 76 percent, which is a one point drop from the last survey.

“Over the last few years, luxury automakers’ satisfaction lead over mass-market manufacturers has been slowly eroding. That gap is now almost nonexistent,” says David VanAmburg, managing director at ACSI. “In terms of style points and cool factor, luxury vehicles may still have the edge, but if you remove all the bells and whistles, the two are more similar than not.”

Mass-market vehicle satisfaction remains stable at 77 percent, while luxury brands hold a dwindling lead over them, dropping 1 point to a score of 78.

Honda is the highest scoring mass-market brand, climbing4 points to a score of 82, while Subaru comes in a close second with a score of 81. Ram is third in this category, with a score of 80.

Hyundai, Mazda, and Toyota all came in at 79 points, while the Dodge brand of Stellantis, Ford, GMC, and Nissan all checked in at 78 points. Buick, Kia, and Volkswagen scored 77, while Chevrolet and Jeep didn’t move from 76 points. Mitsubishi dropped eight points to 71, while last-place Chrysler dropped four points to 70.

As for luxury vehicles, Lexus remains atop the segment at 81 points, although it did drop a point, while BMW gained 4 points to move into a tie at that score. Audi and Tesla come next with scores of 80, while the rest of the luxury brands suffered satisfaction drops.

Mercedes-Benz dropped to 78, while Cadillac and Volvo went down to 77 points. Acura and Lincoln each lost a point down to 76 percent. Infiniti is at the bottom of the segment, plunging five points to 75.

In terms of the driving experience, luxury vehicles are down across the board. Drivers are most pleased with comfort (82) and vehicle interiors (82), but both elements slipped two points. Customers appreciate vehicle safety (82) as well; however, it’s down 1 point year over year.

The American Customer Satisfaction Index has been a national economic indicator for 25 years. It measures and analyzes customer satisfaction with more than 400 companies in 46 industries and 10 economic sectors, including various services of federal and local government agencies. Reported on a scale of 0 to 100, scores are based on data from interviews with roughly 500,000 customers annually. For more information, visit www.theacsi.org.

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