The University of Michigan American Customer Satisfaction Index finds that the automotive industry as a whole went up one point on the scale to an average of 81, setting a record since the survey began in 1995, The Associated Press reports. Claes Fornell, a university professor who compiles the index, said the mass market domestic brands such as General Motors Corp.'s Chevrolet and Ford Motor Co.'s Ford models have narrowed the gap on quality but still have a long way to go to catch up to Honda Motor Co. and Toyota. Survey scores show:
  • Buick improved by two points to 86, tying it for second place with Honda and Lexus.
  • Chevrolet scored an 81, a three-point improvement over last year.
  • Ford improved by two points on the scale to 77.
  • Cadillac tied Hyundai Motor Co. for sixth place.
  • Ford's Lincoln-Mercury finished eighth of the 21 brands included in the survey. To compile its data, the university and several partners questioned 5,440 car buyers from April through June, Fornell said. In the survey, people who bought cars within the past three years were asked to rate their satisfaction level compared with their expectations. They also were asked to rate how their vehicle compares with the ideal vehicle. Customer Satisfaction Index
    1. Toyota, 87
    2. Buick, 86
    3. Honda, 86
    4. Lexus, 86
    5. BMW, 85
    6. Cadillac, 84
    7. Hyundai, 84
    8. Lincoln, 83
    9. Mercedes [tie], 82
    GMC [tie], 82
    Nissan [tie], 82
    12. Chevy, 81
    Source: American Customer Satisfaction Index