Ford, Toyota no big deal on service
NEIL McDONALD reports on the latest JD Power survey
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.