Three General Motors brands, led by GMC, ranked among the top five volume makes for customer satisfaction with the dealership service department, based on an annual J.D. Power and Associates survey released today.
Overall, customer satisfaction with dealership service departments is rising as automakers and stores spend more to improve the customer service experience, according to J.D. Power's 2013 U.S. Customer Service Index.
GMC, with a score of 819 of a possible 1,000, topped the volume brands for the first time, replacing Mini (810), which came in second. Buick (809), Chevrolet (806) and Volkswagen (804) rounded out the top five.
Scion improved 24 points to 776, the largest gain among volume brands, while Kia -- which fell eight points to 774 -- was the only brand to post a decrease.
Nissan, Dodge, Mitsubishi, Chrysler and Volkswagen also showed major gains in the latest survey.
Three Chrysler Group brands -- Jeep, Ram and Dodge -- finished at the bottom.
GMC, Buick and Chevrolet also placed in the top five last year.
"GMC did extremely well on service quality. Also service initiation, which includes things like being able to get an appointment on the day I want," Chris Sutton, senior director at J.D. Power and Associates, said in an interview.
Many of GM's 4,500 Chevrolet, Cadillac and Buick-GMC dealerships are undergoing major storefront and showroom enhancements with cash from the company's Essential Brand Elements program.
GM is spending more than $5 billion on the improvements over seven years, through 2016, according to an Automotive News estimate based on GM documents about the program.
Among luxury brand service departments, Lexus scored best for the fifth straight year with a satisfaction rating of 862. Lexus was followed by Cadillac (858), Jaguar (856), Acura (852) and Infiniti (848).
BMW (842) and Mercedes-Benz (832) scored below the 846 luxury brand average. Land Rover improved 29 points to 825, the largest gain among luxury brands. Infiniti, Lincoln, Volvo, BMW and Audi also showed major gains in the study.