Detailed findings & methodology:
The latest survey indicates that U.S. car manufacturers continue to underperform international car manufacturers in customer satisfaction. This year, U.S. carmakers received a score of 79, down by a point for the second year in a row. European brands remained at 82 for the third year in a row, while Asian brands fell to an average of 81.
Luxury and mass-market vehicles also cluster at opposite ends of the customer satisfaction survey. Most brands reviewed are mass-market vehicles, but Luxury brands represented the majority of makes that received an 82 or above. Only one luxury brand scored below an 82.
The overall customer experience tends to correspond to the success of these brands. Of the 11 brands that scored the industry average of 82 or better in customer satisfaction, year-to-date 2018 sales are up compared to the same period in 2017. Of the 17 brands that scored below 82, 11 posted declining year-to-date sales.
To determine the best and worst car brands of 2018, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed customer satisfaction scores from the American Customer Satisfaction Index’s Automobile Report 2018. The report is based on 4,649 customer survey responses between August 11, 2017 and July 31, 2018. Sales and market share data came from GoodCarBadCar.net, with the exception of the four GM brands — Cadillac, GMC, Buick, and Chevrolet. In the case of GM, which began this year reporting sales on a quarterly rather than a monthly basis, year-to-date sales estimates and change for the four brands are through the second quarter of 2018. All other sales estimates are through July 2018. To estimate year-to-date market share, 24/7 Wall St. assigned the four GM brands a July sales figure based on an average of the first six months of sales for 2018.