Jaguar, Buick tops in J.D. Power dealer service study

Melissa Burden
The Detroit News

The Jaguar and Buick brands have the highest rated dealership service satisfaction, though average satisfaction fell from a year ago, according to the 2015 U.S. Customer Service Index study released Wednesday by J.D. Power.

Jaguar had a rating of 877, unseating Cadillac, which had the top luxury brand customer satisfaction a year ago. J.D. Power's index is based on dealer service performance during the first three years of owning a new vehicle. Satisfaction is based on a 1,000-point scale, with the higher the number, the higher the customer satisfaction.

Rounding out the top five for luxury brands in 2015 was Lexus at 870, Audi at 865, Lincoln at 861 and Cadillac at 858. The luxury brand average customer service rating was 852, down from an average of 872 a year ago. Land Rover had the worst score of the luxury brands in this year's study at 823.

J.D. Power said Buick for the second straight year had the best customer service ranking among mass market brands. Its 2015 score was 836, followed by Mini at 834, Volkswagen at 818, GMC at 811 and Chevrolet at 807. The average score for a non-luxury brand was 792, down 43 points from 835 in the 2014 study. The worst brand in the 2015 survey was Jeep, which had a score of 740.

The 2015 index included responses from more than 70,000 vehicle owners and those leasing 2010-2014 model year vehicles. The study occurred in November and December 2014. J.D. Power said Tesla and the Smart brands were not ranked because of a non-representative samples.

J.D. Power said overall customer service satisfaction among customers who take a car in for recall related work grew to 789 from 777 a year ago. That particular customer satisfaction survey is based on dealer maintenance and repair work among people who own or lease a one- to five-year-old vehicle.

"Manufacturers have shown that it is possible to turn a potential negative into a positive when it comes to recall if they're done in a way that doesn't inconvenience the customer," Chris Sutton, vice president of U.S. automotive retail practice at J.D. Power, said in a statement.

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