Steve Goodall, president of J.D. Power and Associates, spoke with Automotive News Staff Reporter Mark Rechtin in Los Angeles recently about issues facing the industry.
If you put all your surveys together, which automaker does the best job with its customers?
I don't want to get in trouble with any clients here, but consistently the best is Lexus. But I worry about the surprise and delight factor at Lexus over the long term, because it can raise expectations perhaps too high.
What about on a mass-market level?
Toyota clearly has the brand image of quality and reliability. But the retail body is only good, not great. This is an important time for Toyota to develop a better retail strategy. Their dealers are making lots of money, but will today's successes preclude them from making changes?
What do you think of Republic Industries?
We're in some heady times because there is some serious funding to develop an alternative to traditional automotive channels. It works for the customer in the end.