Every automaker strives to entice younger buyers into its fold, yet more new crossovers and large sedans tend to make their way to market than anything in which the young among us might be interested. What's up with that? Well, it could have something to do with the fact that people under 50 years old just don't buy many new vehicles.
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That's customer retention, not retentive customers, though Mercedes-Benz could be said to enjoy both. J.D. Power and Associates has been indexing customer retention for seven years, and Mercedes-Benz tops the list in 2009. Power measures how many vehicle buyers are replacing an older model from the same brand, and Mercedes-Benz's 67-percent retention rate tops all others, including the usual suspects, Honda and Toyota.
J.D. Power has released its 2009 Sales Satisfaction Index, and 29 of 38 brands improved their standing versus last year's numbers. The industry watchdogs at Power say that sales people improved the most over 2008, which isn't surprising given the fact that fewer vehicles are flying off dealer lots and every customer is a precious commodity. Even with the improved standing versus 2008, J.D. Power says that brands still lost 12% of sales on average due to poor service at the dealer level, a statis
Not only does Ford rank number one on J.D. Power and Associate's 2009 navigation system survey, it ranks number two as well. The top ranking system, according to Power's study, is the one found in the Lincoln MKS, followed by a nearly identical system (if not 100% identical) in the Ford Flex. And get this, Ford took down five of the top ten spots with the F-150 coming in fourth and the Escape and Edge taking seventh and eighth place, respectively.
A quick glance at recent Consumer Reports or JD Power data shows that the Pentastar has a big problem on its hands, but the new Chrysler says that will change in a big way by the end of 2012. Chrysler is planning to be a quality leader in only three years by dramatically increasing staffing levels in its quality team while working to dramatically clean up its engineering processes. Just one year ago, there were only 200 staff members on the quality team. Chrysler is now hiring 200 additional wor
October is coming to a close, which means we're within a few days of getting the bad news monthly auto sales tally. But October may not look as bad as many feared, at least according to the latest study by J.D. Power. The industry forecasting gurus see October sales down only six percent versus October 2008, showing that one of America's hardest hit industries may have already bottomed out. If October sales end up panning out like JDP thinks, it will be the first time in 17 months (outside of Au
2009 Hyundai Genesis sedan – Click above for high-res gallery
When wheels are covered with brake dust, the entire car looks dirty and in many cases, a basic wash will do little to rectify the problem. Most associate brake dust as a mere nuisance, but others actually see the sight of pad particles as a fundamental problem with the functionality of a vehicle's brakes. That may sound a bit strange to some, but J.D. Power seems to agree that brake dust is indeed a quality problem.
Smaller, cheaper electronics have been a boon for the auto industry, as car technology has boomed over the past few years. J.D. Power has been studying the tech trend, surveying over 19,000 potential car buyers to gauge interest in new tech like nav systems and infotainment systems. The powerful research company found that customers are now far more tech-savvy than they were in the past, and they're also very interested in adding new features to their next car purchase. That's great news for aut
What automaker has a lower owner satisfaction score in the UK than Chrysler? The one and only company that makes automobiles less tasty to UK consumers is Fiat. Both brands, which are soon to be joined at the arm rest, scored significantly below both the industry average and survey champ Lexus, which enjoyed its ninth year topping the charts. The rest of the top five are Honda, Mercedes-Benz, Skoda, and Toyota.
Click above for results of 2009 J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study
Dutch Mandel from AutoWeek, Terry Rhadigan from GM, John Neff from Autoblog and David Thomas from Kicking Tires (l-r)
More and more people are shopping online for their new car or truck, making automaker's websites an increasingly important part of the automotive buying experience. Honda seems to get that, as evidenced by its recent win in a new J.D. Power usability survey. The Power study measures website usefulness during the new-vehicle shopping process. New vehicle shoppers evaluate websites based on appearance, speed, navigation and content.