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Some Detroit brands slip in customer satisfaction

Customers were less satisfied with some Detroit car brands this year, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index.

Satisfaction declined from last year for Chrysler, Lincoln and Buick.

Claus Fornell is with the University of Michigan Ross School of Business.  He's the founder of the index.

Fornell says the decline is especially worrisome because satisfaction with most Asian brands rose.

He says Detroit could be in trouble again if the trend continues.

"I fear that this is the typical near-death experience," says Fornell.  "You manage to avoid death, you become very healthy, or at least healthier, and then you become complacent."

Not all Detroit car brands declined.  Satisfaction with Ford, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Dodge, and Jeep cars rose this year.

Customer satisfaction with Ford vehicles hit an all-time high.

Nissan's customer satisfaction also hit an all-time high.

Here's the 2011 index, with "100" indicating complete satisfaction.

Cadillac, 83, up 1.2 % from last year

Lincoln 86, down 3.4%

Buick, 85, down 3.4%

Ford, 84, up 2.4%

GMC, 83, down 1.2%

Chevy, 82, up 2.5%

Dodge, 79, up 1.3%

Jeep, 79, up 2.6%

Chrysler, 76, down 5%

Toyota, 87, up 3.6%

Honda 85, up 1.2%

Nissan, 84, up 2.4%

Hyundai, 83, up 1.2%

Kia, 82,up  2.5%

Mazda, 79, down 1.3

VW, 84, up 3.7%

BMW 83, down 3.5%

Mercedes-Benz, 86, unchanged

Lexus, 87, up 2.4%

All others, 81, up 3.8%


Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.