FRANKFURT -- Japanese carmakers Toyota Motor Corp., Mazda Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. Ltd. and Germany's BMW took top honors in a poll of French motorists released on Tuesday.
Toyota cars took the top rankings in three of six segments and BMW in two others in the first industry-wide survey of customer satisfaction in France by U.S. market research group J.D. Power and Associates.
The survey, conducted with L'Automobile magazine, asked 16,000 motorists to rank their experience in vehicle quality/reliability, vehicle appeal, ownership costs and service satisfaction after an average of 2.5 years on the road.
The winners were: Toyota Yaris Verso (small car), Toyota Corolla (lower medium car), BMW 3 series (upper medium car), BMW 5 series (executive/luxury car), Toyota Land Cruiser (sport-utility vehicle) and Mazda Premacy (multi purpose vehicle).
In a ranking based on overall customer satisfaction, Honda led the industry as the most satisfying brand to own with an index score of 819 points out of a possible 1,000. BMW followed with 816 points. The industry average was 777 points.
Domestic brands Renault, Peugeot and Citroen took the top places in the ownership cost category.
Dave Sargent, executive director of European operations for J.D. Power and Associates, said Toyota and Honda were putting distance between themselves and other Japanese manufacturers when it came to customer satisfaction in various markets.
"If you are a betting man, Toyota and Honda are normally pretty good places to put your money. BMW amongst the European in virtually all of our studies is pretty close to the top," he said.