The J.D. Power and Associates' 2003 Customer Service Index (CSI) shows American Suzuki Motor Corp. (ASMC) as the most improved automotive manufacturer in the industry with a five-percent improvement in customer satisfaction over 2002. The full study surveys nearly 106,000 new-vehicle owners and lessees about experiences with the dealer service department during the first three years of vehicle ownership, which typically represents the majority of vehicle warranty periods. The CSI study examines six basic maintenance and repair service processes including service initiation, service advisement, in-dealership experience, service delivery, service quality and user-friendliness. Suzuki says its ranking as the most improved automotive nameplate comes on the heels of also being ranked the most improved nameplate in J.D. Power and Associates' 2003 Initial Quality Study (IQS). In that study -- surveying more than 52,000 buyers and lessees of 2003 model-year vehicles after 90 days of ownership about problems and other issues experienced with their new vehicles -- Suzuki registered a highest-in-the-industry 31-percent improvement in initial quality. The IQS study includes quality comparisons by manufacturer, assembly plant, model and platform. For complete J.D. Power and Associates' Customer Service Index (CSI) and Initial Quality Study (IQS) test results, go to www.jdpower.com
. "The trend of dramatically improved Suzuki vehicle quality, customer satisfaction and in-dealership experiences continues," explained ASMC President Rick Suzuki. "Like the initial quality study earlier this year, we're delighted at these latest results since they show that our plan of strengthening quality and customer satisfaction is working. We know that bolstering our dealers leads to improved quality and customer satisfaction which are absolutely essential to continued sales growth." The J.D. Power and Associates' study credited Suzuki's industry-highest increase in customer satisfaction to improvements in repair and service quality. As part of its dealer-development efforts, Suzuki says it has developed the Suzuki Square retail image program, a new, shopper-friendly environment aimed at drawing potential consumers into dealerships nationwide with a consistently distinctive visual style and themed interior displays showing how Suzuki vehicles suit various lifestyles. Suzuki Square is part of Suzuki's comprehensive plan to triple its 2002 U.S. vehicle sales by 2007 -- which also includes an expansion of Suzuki's product line including the introduction of nine new models in the next five years, aggressive new advertising and promotions, and an intensified focus on customer satisfaction and service. "Our plan to triple sales by 2007 -- and the new product, marketing, dealer development and customer service initiatives needed to meet that goal -- have been designed to accelerate Suzuki's move further into the U.S. automotive mainstream," Suzuki said. The Automotive Division of American Suzuki Motor Corp. (ASMC), Brea, was founded in 1985 by Suzuki Motor Corp. (SMC). ASMC markets automobiles in the United States through a network of approximately 450 automotive dealerships in 49 states. SMC, based in Hamamatsu, Japan, is a diversified worldwide automobile manufacturer. Founded in 1909 and incorporated in 1920, it has 120 distributors in 190 countries.