THE UNOFFICIAL UMPIRE’S CALL
TOYOTA has the happiest owners in Australia.
Surprisingly, Suzuki has given its rival this chirpy good news based on its research into customer satisfaction.
Toyota gets a 69 per cent approval rating in Suzuki’s survey, just one point ahead of Suzuki itself and Hyundai.
It’s hard to get solid information on this subject because car companies like to keep it to themselves. They are most worried about looking bad but also fear the comparison power it gives to buyers when they go head-tohead shopping.
In the US, the JD Power organisation crunches numbers on all sorts of customer satisfaction and reliability surveys.
There is no independent umpire in Australia so it’s always handy to come across insider information like Suzuki’s, which emerged during the recent press preview for the new Vitara (pictured).
Suzuki general manager Andrew Moore began to spruik the Vitara but couldn’t resist revealing statistics to show how well buyers regard his company.
The pecking order after Toyota-Suzuki-Hyundai has Subaru on 66 per cent, then Mazda and — surprisingly — Skoda on 65.
We can’t give you more detail — Moore flicked quickly to his next Powerpoint slide and was unwilling to update or fill out the top 10: “That’s internal research ... There is not a lot of detail,” he says. “We do it every six months and we generally have a sample size of a few hundred. It varies each time, of course.”
There is very little off-road action in the segment, he found. “About 80 per cent of customers in the compact SUV market are choosing twowheel drive. I forecast sales of small SUVs will overtake small hatches in 2017. This transition to compact SUVs is a global phenomenon.”