After several blows to its quality reputation from major research firms like Consumer Reports and J.D. Power, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (NYSE: FCAU) has been let down by its dealers. In the new J.D. Power 2017 U.S. Customer Service Index (CSI) Study, the manufacturer’s Fiat, Jeep, Ram and Dodge took the bottom four spots. The company’s Chrysler brand ranked almost as poorly.
The CSI looks at four metrics: service advisor, service initiation, service facility and vehicle pickup. Vehicles owned from one to five years were considered. The data were collected from over 70,000 respondents to the J.D. Power questionnaire. Cars were assigned two categories: luxury and mass market.
Brands were ranked on a scale from 1 to 1,000. Among mass market brands, the average for the industry was 807. Buick topped the list with 860 points. Fiat took the 19th spot out of 19 vehicles with 739 points, Jeep the 18th with 753 points, Ram the 17th with 755, Dodge the 16th with 771 and Chrysler the 14th with 785. Mazda filled in the 15th place with 784 points.
Among luxury cars, the brand average was 869. Lexus finished first in this category with a total of 874 points. Land Rover finished at the bottom of the luxury car group with 828 points.
The numbers are more than just scores, according to the research firm. Chris Sutton, Vice President, U.S. Automotive Retail Practice at J.D. Power, said:
The quality of work—doing the job right the first time—can noticeably affect customer satisfaction and loyalty, but it shouldn’t be viewed in a vacuum. Proactive communication with the customer, especially while the car is being serviced, is one element that has a direct influence on loyalty.
Fiat Chrysler dealers have a poor set of practices that could cost them future sales.