Best and Worst Car Brands of 2017

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Source: courtesy of Ford Motor Co.

5. Ford
> 2017 customer satisfaction index: 79
> 2016 customer satisfaction index: 81
> U.S. YTD sales 1,428,503
> U.S. YTD market share: 14.6%

Ford is the best selling single car brand in the United States. Its success relies tremendously on a truck, the F-150 full-size pickup. Ford sold 499,327 F-series trucks in the first seven months of 2017, up 8.3% from the same period the year before. F-series sales accounted for 33% of all vehicles the Ford Division sold in the period. Many of Ford’s coupes and sedans did poorly. For example, Fusion sales dropped 29.1% to 121,111 in the January to July period.

Source: vw.com

4. Volkswagen
> 2017 customer satisfaction index: 79
> 2016 customer satisfaction index: 78
> U.S. YTD sales 188,329
> U.S. YTD market share: 1.9%

After a diesel engine scandal that cost Volkswagen over $20 billion in fines and settlements and incalculable numbers of sales, its fortunes have began to turn around. VW’s unit sales for the first seven months of the year rose 5.9%, a modest figure but much better than the industry’s.

Sales of the Beetle and Golf Sportwagen have been particularly strong. VW continues to suffer from the fact that even though it is the world’s largest car company, its U.S. market share is minuscule.

Source: mitsubishicars.com

3. Mitsubishi
> 2017 customer satisfaction index: 78
> 2016 customer satisfaction index: 79
> U.S. YTD sales 62,601
> U.S. YTD market share: 0.6%

Mitsubishi Motors has so little confidence in the U.S. market that it stopped making cars here in 2015. And while the poor ACSI score reflects this poor showing, unit sales did tick up in the first seven months of the year by 4.6%. The credit for the improvement goes to the Outlander. The crossover’s sales rose 33% in the first seven months of the year to 20,530. Mitsubishi said Outlander sales hit an all time record for sales in any July since it was introduced.

Source: dodge.com

2. Dodge
> 2017 customer satisfaction index: 75
> 2016 customer satisfaction index: 78
> U.S. YTD sales 292,244
> U.S. YTD market share: 3.0%

Dodge may be the least troubled of Fiat Chrysler’s car brands. The division’s unit sales have fallen 5% in the first seven months of the year, which is a much better result than any of the parent’s division other than the RAM pickup. A crossover has kept Dodge on good footing. The Journey sold 63,677 units in the first seven months of the year, up 18% compared to the first seven months of 2016. And a minivan has been another critical success. Caravan sales were up 4% to 87,370. Dodge has scrapped its Viper supercar. This year, Dodge has sold only 458 of them, up 30%.

Source: fiatusa.com

1. Fiat
> 2017 customer satisfaction index: 75
> 2016 customer satisfaction index: N/A
> U.S. YTD sales 16,926
> U.S. YTD market share: 0.2%

Fiat’s struggles in the U.S. market, which have gone on for a year, have seemed to get even worse recently. The brand routinely ranks at the bottom of the well regarded J.D. Power car customer surveys. Consumer Reports summed up its opinion simply, “Reliability has been dismal.” Sales have been dismal as well. Fiat’s unit sales are down 13% this year. While Fiat’s new Spider sold 2,950 units in the first seven months of the year against 481 last year, sales of the three 500 models got worse in turn. At the bottom, sales of the 500X were down 64% to 917. Sales of its three 500 models got worse in turn. At the bottom, sales of the 500X were down 64% to 917.