A new report detailing customer satisfaction in the auto industry has just been released, with domestic brands Lincoln-Mercury and Buick taking the top spots. The annual American Customer Satisfaction Index survey points to a slight decline overall in consumers' satisfaction with their vehicles, but shows strong results for domestic automakers.
In total, the satisfaction index has dropped from 84 (out of 100) in 2009 to 82. The highest score, with a total of 89 points, is shared by Lincoln and the now defunct Mercury brand with a gain of 1 point over last year's survey. Buick remain unchanged at 88 points.
In many ways these gains are also the result of losses by other automakers, with 14 of the 18 top brands declining.
Sharing the third position with 86 points are BMW (down 1 point), Mercedes-Benz (unchanged) and Cadillac (down 3 points).
The biggest gainer for 2010 is Nissan, climbing 4 points to 82 on the index. Big losers included Honda (off 4 points to 84), Chevrolet (off 3 points to 80) and Volkswagen (with the biggest loss of 5 points, down to 81).
Interestingly, despite Toyota's recall woes, the company lost just 2 points down to 84, although the same issues are believed to be responsible for the larger drop of 4 points for the Lexus brand, down to 84.
The ACSI survey is the result of 250 interviews per manufacturer with owners aged 18 to 84.
More: Lincoln-Mercury and Buick Top Latest Customer Satisfaction Survey