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by Tim Beissmann

Australian Renault and Volvo owners are more satisfied with their cars than owners of any other European brands.

The Roy Morgan Automotive Currency Report found 94 per cent of Renault and Volvo owners in Australia were either ‘very satisfied’ or ‘fairly satisfied’ with their cars.

This is four percentage points ahead of the 90 per cent satisfaction average for European brands in Australia.

Volvo, Renault and Mercedes-Benz (which ranked third overall) were the only European brands to enjoy an increase in owner satisfaction in the 2011 survey, compared with the previous 2006 study.

Audi, the clear leader in 2006, dropped four percentage points (95 to 91) this year, slipping to equal fifth, behind Peugeot and tied with Alfa Romeo.

Volkswagen owner satisfaction was bang on average, while BMW and Land Rover fell one per cent below the line.

Citroen and Saab were the worst performers in the 2011 survey. Citroen, which tied with Volvo and Mercedes-Benz in 2006 and outperformed Volkswagen, plummeted 10 per cent to just 82 per cent owner satisfaction. Saab, which is battling its own demons overseas, fell a further five per cent from its lowly 2006 ranking.

Roy Morgan Research industry communications director, Norman Morris, said with vehicle satisfaction being one of the key drivers of brand loyalty, this was a very important measure for manufacturers to be aware of.

“This is an excellent result for Volvo who has also decreased their total driver dissatisfaction figure over the same timeframe” Mr Morris said.

“Also doing well is niche importer Renault, moving from equal second overall in 2006 to now sit equal with Volvo in top spot.”

He said it was interesting to note that although two-thirds of all European cars in Australia came from German-owned companies, only Mercedes-Benz had made gains in the past five years.

“Of the remaining German brands, Audi has experienced the strongest percentage point drop, moving from the top of the overall list five years ago to currently sit equal fifth,” he said.

“BMW is also down, falling marginally under the 90 per cent mark, with both brands’ total dissatisfaction figures also increasing over this same time frame.”

Roy Morgan estimates there are 14.9 million drivers in Australia today and approximately one million of us drive a European car. This is up a remarkable 45 per cent over the past five years.

What do make of the satisfaction survey? Are there any brands that take you by surprise? Let us know in the comments section below.




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