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Fiat highest in customer satisfaction among Germans

by Bill Cawthon on

It hasn’t been on sale in the U.S. long enough to hit the major studies, but the Fiat 500 ranked first among demanding German motorists in the recent “Vehicle Owner Satisfaction Study” by J. D. Power and Associates. The study, conducted annually examines how satisfied German car owners are with their vehicles and the various brands from which they can choose.

The study, conducted annually in countries around the world, tracks the degree of satisfaction of customers based on 67 characteristics in four different categories, each of which with a specific weight. Appeal (performance, design, comfort, functions) amounts to 32% of the total score, quality and reliability of the car amount to 26%, running costs (fuel, insurance, servicing and repairs) to 22%, while brand dealership satisfaction amounts to 20% of the total score. The Fiat racked up a total score of 81.8% to take top honors in the “minicar” category, a class traditionally led by German and Japanese brands.

The German study was based on 17,158 online surveys targeting motorists who have owned their car for two years or more and who during this time have travelled an average of 38,700 kilometers (about 24,000 miles). The survey concerned only models belonging to nine categories – from minicar to SUVs – and was based on at least 50 questions.

The most interesting result was the opinion expressed by German respondents on the most important criteria – appeal of performance, passenger compartment and bodywork – where Fiat 500 was given top scores three times.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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