Mazda has been rated the best automotive brand in Australia for aftersales and service experience for the second consecutive year.
Mazda topped JD Power’s 2014 Australia Customer Service Index Study, which measures overall customer satisfaction with vehicle service experience at authorised service centres by rating service quality, vehicle pick-up, the service advisor, service initiation, and service facility.
Mazda scored 806 points on the 1000-point scale (up two points from 2013) to hold off fellow Japanese brands Subaru (804, up three points) and Toyota (802, even).
Holden was the biggest improver in the field, soaring from second-last place on the rankings board in 2013 to fourth position in 2014, lifting its rating from 758 to 794.
Fifth-placed Hyundai also climbed from a below-average 768-point rating to 791 this year, placing it just above 2014’s 790-point industry average – itself up eight points over 2013.
Despite recording the third-largest improvement in customer satisfaction in 2014 (765, up 22 points), Volkswagen couldn’t lift itself out of last place, extending its wooden spoon streak to three straight years.
Ford slipped just below the average line with a 787-point rating. It tied with Honda, which has fallen heavily since 2012 when it topped the tally with Toyota at 809.
Nissan was another to fall below average this year, dropping four points to 783.
Kia’s rating improved four points to 777 though the increase wasn’t enough to stop it sliding one place on the ratings board.
Mitsubishi fell six points this year to 773, sending it falling from just below average last year to the bottom three in 2014.
Suzuki gained five points this year (769) though still languishes near the bottom of the ladder.
Jeep and Peugeot were included in the study but were not ranked due to their small/insufficient sample size. No other brands were included in the study.
The 2014 Australian Customer Service Index Study is based on the responses of 4313 owners who purchased a new vehicle between August 2009 and September 2014 and had their vehicle serviced at an authorised service centre between August 2013 and September 2014.
JD Power Asia Pacific senior country manager of Australia Loi Truong said transparency of service and repair costs was becoming increasing important as many brands have moved to capped-price servicing programs.
“As most major brands in Australia now have adopted capped-price servicing, authorised service centres need to ensure communication to customers regarding costs, whether it is routine maintenance or additional repair costs, are clear and accurate as possible,” Truong said.
“Brands that can provide customers with a clear explanation of the work undertaken and deliver a consistently reliable service will benefit in the long run.”
The 2014 study also found that 83 per cent of customers reported their vehicle was ready to collect when promised (up one per cent), though only 28 per cent reported their vehicle was returned washed and vacuumed post service.