2010 Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon – Click above for high-res image gallery

The American Customer Satisfaction Index for automakers from the University of Michigan is being released today, and sitting at the very top are Cadillac and Lexus in a two-way tie for first place. The study continues its Detroit lovefest by giving the third spot to a tie-up of Lincoln-Mercury, Buick and Honda. And that moves us into spot No. 7, where Toyota shows up in a tie with Volkswagen.

Great news for American automakers? Great fodder for the marketing departments at least. Automotive News (sub. req.) quotes Claes Fornell, the director of the MSU's National Quality Research Center as saying the great leap in customer satisfaction is, oddly enough, at least partially due to a huge drop in sales. Fornell says that the few people buying American cars are hardcore American car drivers, and are more likely to respond as satisfied to a survey.

The good news, Fornell says, is that a smaller, more devoted group of buyers is more likely to be repeat buyers. In a New York Times story, Fornell says, "In most cases that's not a good thing, to increase the satisfaction of their customers by losing them. But in Detroit's case, it's probably not that bad. It leaves them with a smaller, more satisfied customer base that they might be able to manage better and build from."

In the study, Volkswagen was the most improved, bettering its placement by 6.2% from last year, and Ford jumped 5%.

A table of scores since 1996 is available here and should be updated sometime today with 2009 numbers.

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
  • 2015 Toyota Highlander
    MSRP: $29,765 - $44,140
    2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee
    MSRP: $29,995 - $64,895
    2015 Honda Accord
    MSRP: $22,105 - $33,630
    2015 Honda Civic
    MSRP: $18,290 - $26,740
    2015 Mazda Mazda3
    MSRP: $16,945 - $25,545
    Share This Photo X