Often criticized for its low-budget models, Romanian carmaker Dacia manages to make the headlines once again: it was placed on the same position as BMW in the latest J.D. Power and Associates 2010 Germany Vehicle Ownership Satisfaction Study released today.
In just a few words, the aforementioned study uses 67 attributes divided into four key areas to determine which of the included carmakers are offering the highest satisfying product experiences: vehicle appeal with performance, design, comfort and features; vehicle quality and reliability; ownership costs with fuel consumption, insurance and costs of service/repair; and dealer service satisfaction.
Given these facts, Dacia's achievement is fairly impressive, although the Romanian brand proved to be a tough competitor for the powerful German brands since the first months of the year. Thanks to the scrappage schemes started by the local government, Dacia grew a lot in popularity, becoming one of the leading companies among German new car buyers. According to unconfirmed figures, Renault's brand sold a total of 150,000 cars in Germany since its debut in 2005.
However, the chart continues to be led by Mercedes with a score of 838 points, followed by BMW and Dacia (tied at 836), and Mazda and Nissan (tied at 831). Specifically, Dacia Logan was placed second in the small car segment with 839 points, after Nissan Note (846) but ahead of Toyota Yaris (833).
"Rising to the top of the manufacturer rankings in ownership satisfaction requires an in-depth understanding of customer expectations and how to implement targeted improvement measures aimed at minimizing deficiencies in terms of the product and dealer service,"
said Martin Volk, senior research manager at J.D. Power and Associates. "For example, a reputation for quality and reliability is among the most important purchase criteria for Mercedes-Benz owners. Exceeding customer expectations on their key purchase criteria is critical to providing an outstanding ownership experience,”
he added without commenting on Dacia's impressive achievement.
The aforementioned study was conducted from January to March 2010 and included a total of 16,330 online respondents, with 25 brands registered.
Here are the the top three models for each vehicle class: