Recalls Cut Consumer Confidence in Cars
|   Tuesday, September 02, 2014
This was something that had to be expected. At some point, consumer would look at the constant flood of safety recalls affecting cars and their perceptions of vehicles would change.

Buried at the bottom of a report released by the American Customer Survey Index (ACSI) and reported on CNBC, the information should have been expected. Consumer confidence has been shaken and overall customer satisfaction is down again.

Last year, the ACSI reported a similar drop in customer satisfaction.
Similar, this year's 1-point drop to 82 out of 100 points shows that customer confidence and satisfaction with the car industry is slipping.

David VanAmburg, ACSI president, indicated the organization was not alarmed by the slip but noted that it did "take the edge" off the car industry. Overall, ACSI is still positive about the car industry, he noted.

More importantly, the slip caps a five-year trend. For the last five years, ACSI has consistently reported that customer satisfaction with cars and the car industry had been slipping. It is now at its lowest point in five-years, ACSI noted.

Key points in the survey included the fact that:

26 of 28 nameplates were rated lower than last year
Luxury nameplates all have taken a hit this year
Imports, usually highly regarded by buyers, took a bigger hit than US makes

For example, two GM nameplates, Chevy and Buick, had increases of 4 and 1 percent, respectively. And, ACSI noted, the gap between US makes in imports is narrowing.

It's not that imports are falling to pieces; it's just that, ACSI reported through CNBC, percentage-wise, the imported wing of the market had higher numbers than domestics. Imports still hold the top six spots in the survey's ratings.

Interestingly, ACSI notes, that those who received recall notices marked their surveys six percent lower than those consumers who did not.

VanAmburg noted that this "speaks to the issue of reliability." He believed that customers are likely wondering about the recalls themselves. He indicated to CNBC that customers are worried that if their car received one recall for a defect "…is there going to be another one and another one?"
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