Land Rover has come out at the top of the list of automotive brands in the July 2016 UKCSI (UK Customer Satisfaction Index) survey.
The brand placed third overall, below Amazon and Wilko, and tied with M&S and Waitrose. The next most successful car maker was Kia, which placed 17th in the survey.
Land Rover was one of the most improved brands, with a 5.5-point improvement over its score in the same survey in 2015, although an even bigger winner in this respect was Suzuki, which garnered a 9.1-point increase in customer satisfaction. This was the largest increase of any brand, automotive or otherwise, in the survey.
Suzuki put out a statement in response to the accolade, in which its aftersales director Denis Houston said: “We are delighted with the results shown, and this clearly reflects our ongoing investment and the great lengths that Suzuki goes to in order to ensure that every motorist receives the very highest level of service.
“We are extremely pleased that the efforts of our dealer network have paid off, and we will continue to strive for even better scores in 2017.” Suzuki also put some of its success down to a new service scheme, aimed at improving customer service in aftersales.
Land Rover also responded, with Jaguar Land Rover UK Managing Director Jeremy Hicks commenting: "We're obviously delighted with the result. We continue to strive to deliver an excellent product and ownership experience for all our customers."
In spite of this overall positivity, Skoda and Audi, two Volkswagen Group brands that featured in last year’s top 50, dropped out of their respective 11th and 35th places this year. The individual scores for non-top 50 organisations were not published, however, so it’s not yet known to what extent the two brands' reputations might have fallen.
Volvo, which placed 34th on last year’s top 50, was also absent from the rankings this year; a surprising result given its increasing wave of success. Volvo remained upbeat in spite of the results, and issued the following statement:
"Volvo’s results in the 2016 UK Customer Satisfaction Survey 2016 are disappointing as all measures of progress against the key focus area of customer satisfaction are important. However with so many different assessments available of our customers’ experience, often with significantly different results, we focus on a small number of surveys which we consistently follow over time. The International Aftersales Customer Satisfaction (IACS) survey, as a syndicated survey across most automotive brands represented in the UK and internationally is a key benchmark, as is our own internal measure which includes more than 40,000 Volvo specific surveys per year. Both show improvement year on year so while not complacent, we see steady progress in the experience Volvo customers receive."
The other car brands that made it into the top 50 were Mini (20th place), Hyundai and Mercedes-Benz (joint 29th place) - the latter being new to the top 50 this year - making a total of six car brands in this year’s top 50 compared with last year’s seven; BMW and Mini both featured last year, albeit as one entity (“BMW/Mini”).
Audi and Skoda have yet to respond to a request for a comment on the results.