Satisfaction with US cars slip

US car buyers are less happy with their purchases from domestic vehicle manufacturers while the satisfaction achieved by rivals from Asia and Europe continues to improve, a recent survey shows.

Satisfaction slipped amongst consumers with US auto brands with Lexus and BMW tied for first place, followed by Toyota and Honda, according to the University of Michigan's American Customer Satisfaction Index released this week.

Brands from General Motors and Ford dropped in customer satisfaction at a time when US companies are struggling to reverse their shrinking sales and market share.

The auto industry's customer satisfaction has increased steadily over time and its overall score of 82 is higher than many other industries the index tracks. Just 11 points separate the best and worst-scoring brands.

It is thought that a consumer shift towards more fuel efficient vehicles has led to the drop in customer satisfaction amongst the domestic auto brands.

Claes Fornell, business professor at the University of Michigan, said a lack of resources had forced US manufacturers to borrow money.

He said: "Whenever they have to do that, it is difficult to come up with the same level of quality and the same level of customer satisfaction."

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