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J.D. POWER AND ASSOCIATES ANNOUNCES NO. 1 CAR AND NO. 1 TRUCK IN CUSTOMER SATISFACTION

            J.D. POWER AND ASSOCIATES ANNOUNCES NO. 1 CAR
              AND NO. 1 TRUCK IN CUSTOMER SATISFACTION
    AGOURA HILLS, Calif., June 29 /PRNewswire/ -- J.D. Power and Associates announced the No. 1 carline and No. 1 truckline in Customer Satisfaction.  Lexus breaks the previous year's tie by taking the No. 1 position for car.  The industry leadership is defined by four luxury makes:  Lexus, Infiniti, Acura and Mercedes- Benz.  Included among these four luxury marques is a new entrant ranking number three:  Domestic, Saturn.  Toyota takes the top spot for truck customer satisfaction for the second year in a row.
    Close to 34,000 owners evaluated their 1991 model year vehicles after one year of ownership.  In its first year eligible, Saturn vaults to third position in the car ranking, becoming the "Best Domestic Carline in Customer Satisfaction."  Mercedes-Benz retains its 1991 title as the highest ranking European carline, in fifth place in the annual, independent ranking.
    The studies evaluate customer satisfaction among car and truck owners after one year, a point in time seen as critical in the ownership experience.  J.D. Power and Associates' unique methodology analyzes consumer opinion in such a way that those responding to the survey actually determine the most important elements of owner satisfaction.  The primary aspects making up customer satisfaction are the repair and reliability of the vehicle and the consumer's experience when servicing it at the dealership.
    "As each year makes very clear, customer satisfaction is a moving target and each year the industry continues to improve.  While the industry average for car moved up only two points in 1992, that increase gives clear indication that the race, while more difficult than ever, is still on," commented J.D. Power III, president and founder of J.D. Power and Associates.  "The nameplates ranked in the top four positions were not even in the marketplace seven years ago," Power continued.  "At the same time, a number of nameplate lines have dropped and moved backward to below industry average even as the performance race, geared to better relate to buyers, has accelerated."
    The top four car nameplates are:  Lexus, Infiniti, Saturn and Acura.  Of the 18 nameplates ranking above industry average, seven are of Japanese origin, seven are European and four are Domestic. The top four Domestic nameplates:  Saturn, Cadillac, Oldsmobile and Buick are all manufactured by General Motors Corp.  J.D. Power and Associates does not release information on nameplates or models ranking below industry average.
    The Light Truck Customer Satisfaction study features both compact and full-size vehicles.  The models ranking at the top of each segment are as follows:
    -- Compact Pickup:            Nissan Pickup
    -- Compact Sport Utility:     Toyota 4 Runner
    -- Compact Van:               Toyota Previa
    -- Full-Size Pickup:          Ford F-Series Pickup
    -- Full-Size Sport Utility:   Toyota Land Cruiser
    -- Full-Size Van:             (Segment Below Industry Average)
    "Customer satisfaction is still the name of the game, with owners giving clear indication of the levels of customer handling that they expect," continued J.D. Power III.  "Any manufacturers that think they can stop listening to the voice of the customer, represented by these surveys, are kidding themselves.  Building customer satisfaction will continue to be the most important focus of the industry as every nameplate struggles to return to profitability in a tough market."
    J.D. Power and Associates is an international marketing information firm with headquarters in Agoura Hills, and offices in Detroit, Tokyo and Westport, Conn.  The firm is best known for its marketing information and consulting in the areas of consumer opinion and customer satisfaction.
    -0-             6/29/92
    /CONTACT:  Patricia A. Patano or Jim Olson of J.D. Power and Associates, 818-889-6330/ CO:  J.D. Power and Associates ST:  California IN:  AUT SU: CH-AL -- LA014 -- 4768 06/29/92 13:34 EDT
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 29, 1992
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