MUNICH – Mercedes-Benz is the first non-Japanese automaker to take top honors in vehicle ownership satisfaction among German car owners, according to a J.D. Power and Associates study published June 24.
Either Toyota, Honda or Daihatsu has finished No. 1 in the study between 2002 and 2009.
Mercedes broke the streak by earning 838 out of a possible 1,000 points. The Stuttgart-based automaker excelled in two of the study's four key measures: vehicle quality and reliability, and vehicle appeal. The other two factors used to rate the brands are ownership costs and service satisfaction.
“Rising to the top of the manufacturer rankings in ownership satisfaction requires an in-depth understanding of customer expectations and how to implement targeted improvement measures aimed at minimizing deficiencies in terms of the product and dealer service,” Martin Volk, senior research manager at J.D. Power and Associates, said in a statement. “For example, a reputation for quality and reliability is among the most important purchase criteria for Mercedes-Benz owners. Exceeding customer expectations on their key purchase criteria is critical to providing an outstanding ownership experience.”
At the segment level, the Mercedes C class was named top compact executive car and CLK ranked as the best sports car.
Rounding out the top study's 5 were BMW and Dacia, which tied for second with 836 points, while Mazda and Nissan tied for fourth with 831 points. (For full results, click on 2010 Germany Vehicle Ownership Satisfaction Study, right)
At the bottom of the list of ranked brands were No. 25 Fiat and No. 24 Chevrolet.
Last year's No. 1 brand was Daihatsu, but this year the Toyota small-car subsidiary was not ranked due to small sample size. The other brands not ranked for this reason were Alfa Romeo, which tied for No. 2 with Mercedes in last year's study, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Lexus, Porsche, Saab and Subaru.