In a survey just released by the University of Michigan, it appears that new owners just love their Lexies and their Caddies. Both brands tied at 89 on the American Customer Satisfaction Index, and that score was 5 points better than the industry average. That’s pretty good, don’t you think? Especially for a company just emerging from the tremors of bankruptcy.
Customer satisfaction for all Detroit brands grew from just over 81 last year to just below Asian automakers’ score of 84. European companies topped the ranking with 86. This year’s near-parity with Asian companies marks the closest the Detroit-based automakers have come to that group of rivals since outscoring them in 2000.
Cars like the CTS Sport Wagon (above), with lots of favorable reviews, are changing the public’s perceptions and moving the marque’s rankings. With the crossover/SUV/wagon categories more muddled than ever, the CTS-SW should be one of the segment’s coolest offerings (and the first American factory-built wagon for Cadillac).
In Europe, a new small sedan to be called the ATS is slated to replace the slow-selling BLS and is aimed at the BMW 3 Series market. So says Motor Authority. This entry-level Caddy is not just for Europe but for all markets.
More GM news: NPR reported this morning—too early by far for me to be fully compos mentis—that GM was going to recall laid-off workers and reopen plants, since current dealer inventory has dried up owing to Cash-for-Clunkers demand. I think I heard that right. Such news could drive a wealthy fool to fumble for his Blackberry and order up more cheap GM stock. Or, if he were sensible, go back to sleep.
Lordstown (Ohio) and Orion (Michigan) are among those plants slated to reopen. Mark LaNeve, a GM sales guy, reportedly said, “We’re adding 60,000 units to our production schedule.” The Truth About Cars had this comment:
And when Cash for Clunkers plays out and leaves a smoking crater where all those pulled-forward sales used to be? GM will go back to right-sizing, shift-cutting, inventory management, fire sales, channel stuffing and the other depressed-cycle tricks of the trade.
You betcha. And I’ll be back in bed. But that’s really a negative, smarmy view of things. If Cadillac continues its march and Chevy its rebuild, the good old General may yet survive.
Will GM make its mark through Cadillac? What other brands do you think show similar promise?