Ford, Toy­ota no big deal on ser­vice

NEIL McDON­ALD re­ports on the lat­est JD Power sur­vey

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Front Page -

DEALER ser­vice is the weak­est link for Ford and Toy­ota in the lat­est JD Power qual­ity sur­vey. But own­ers of Ja­panese cars are hap­pier over­all with their ve­hi­cles.

For the sec­ond year in a row, Holden own­ers were hap­pi­est with their deal­er­ship ser­vice over­all.

Nis­san was the big­gest loser in dealer ser­vice, down 25 points on last year.

The over­all sur­vey win­ner was Mazda. Honda came sec­ond and Toy­ota third.

Though some key brands lost deal­er­ship ser­vice points, Mazda and Honda lifted their rat­ings in this cat­e­gory.

JD Power mea­sures four key ar­eas: ve­hi­cle qual­ity and reli­a­bil­ity; ve­hi­cle ap­peal; deal­er­ship ser­vice; and own­er­ship costs.

The four cat­e­gories add up to a 1000-point scale.

De­spite Ford los­ing points on dealer ser­vice, Ford own­ers were hap­pier with cost of own­er­ship de­spite the com­pany hav­ing taken a bat­ter­ing over ball-joint fail­ures and a brake hose re­call on the Ter­ri­tory.

Toy­ota and Holden each lost points. They also dropped points on ve­hi­cle ap­peal, in part be­cause of a buyer shift away from larger cars.

Hyundai lost points for ve­hi­cle ap­peal but was a stand­out in deal­er­ship ser­vice, which helped bol­ster its over­all rank­ing.

Apart from los­ing points in the spe­cific cat­e­gories, this year’s re- sults were sim­i­lar to last year’s, ac­cord­ing to JD Power and As­so­ci­ates Aus­tralia and New Zealand manag­ing di­rec­tor Brian Fine.

‘‘Some im­prove­ments have been made in in­di­vid­ual ar­eas but most are close to their rat­ings,’’ he says.

The South Korean brands beat Ford and Holden to the top 10 plac­ings. Hyundai was fourth over­all and Kia sev­enth, ahead of Ford in ninth spot and Holden 10th.

Mazda was high­est in own­er­ship sat­is­fac­tion with an over­all in­dex score of 782, well above the av­er­age 761. Honda was next on 779. Both per­formed well in key ar­eas.

Mazda rates highly in qual­ity, reli­a­bil­ity and ve­hi­cle ap­peal. Honda per­forms well in own­er­ship costs and ser­vice.

‘‘Mazda has a rep­u­ta­tion in Aus­tralia for pro­duc­ing high-qual­ity ve­hi­cles,’’ Fine says.

‘‘Its strong per­for­mance and Honda’s rank­ing among the top two show Ja­panese car­mak­ers have done well in sat­is­fy­ing Aus­tralian newve­hi­cle own­ers.’’

Qual­ity prob­lems in­creased slightly this year com­pared to last year. The ‘‘prob­lems per 100 ve­hi­cles’’ rank­ing went from 129 PP100 to 134 PP100. A lower score in­di­cates fewer prob­lems and higher qual­ity.

More than 3000 own­ers were can­vassed in Jan­uary. The find­ings as­sessed the first 36 months of own­er­ship.

over­all 2008

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