Fiat and Dodge Rank Worst in New Car Survey, Lexus Takes Top Spot

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Fiat Chrysler Automobile N.V.’s (NYSE: FCAU) Fiat division has been fading in the United States for a long time. This conclusion is based both on sales and its brand reputation. That reputation was tarnished again as Fiat ranked last in the new American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) for cars. The rating was matched by stablemate Dodge. At the top of the list, Toyota Motor Corp.’s (NYSE: TM) Lexus brand finished first.

The ACSI rating is based on a score that ranges from 1 to 100. The industrywide score for 2017 was 81. Lexus posted a score of 86. The brand routinely does well in this sort of research. Fiat and Dodge were each rated at 75. Fiat Chrysler’s two other brands, Chrysler and Jeep, also did poorly. Chrysler had a grade of 79 and Jeep a grade of 80.

In general, car ownership satisfaction dropped last year, according to the ACSI, a decline of 1.2% from the year before. And U.S. manufacturers posted poor results in the latest survey. ASCI experts wrote:

GM and no one else among Detroit’s automakers gains in customer satisfaction this year, with an ACSI score of 82. Ford slides to 81, followed by Fiat Chrysler at 77. Foreign-made vehicles, however, continue to have the highest driver satisfaction and 77% of the above-average nameplates in the ACSI are imports. Overall, the gap between international and domestic manufacturers has widened because of the downturn for U.S. cars.

ACSI divided manufacturers into two categories: luxury and mass market vehicles. Behind Lexus on the luxury list, Mercedes-Benz posted a score of 84, General Motors Co.’s (NYSE: GM) Cadillac was pegged at 83, as was domestic rival Lincoln, which is made by Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F). Volkswagen’s Audi posted an 82, as did BMW and Volvo. Honda Motor Co. Ltd.’s (NYSE: HMC) Acura finished last in the luxury category with a score of 80.

Among mass market cars, Toyota finished first with a score of 86. Subaru was second with an 85, and GMC finished third with an 84.

The report was based on 3,934 customer survey responses between July 1, 2016, and June 20, 2017.