More consumer opinion stuff….

Earlier today I covered an article by a website called ConsumerAffairs.com. The article was totally critical of Saab’s quality and service, and this criticism was based solely on their collection of just fourteen (14) complaint letters received over a period of six years.

Yes, Saab do have some quality issues and their US dealer service network does need to improve, but this was a total beatup based on a rediculously small sample, some of which included driver/owner error. It’s fair to say that ConsumerAffairs.com’s story represents a very small sample of the North American experience.

To bring an alternative point of view, Olav has emailed me some charts from “The Loyalty Group”, who conduct customer satisfaction surveys with the co-operation of groups from Denmark, Norway, Finland and Sweden. The following charts are from 2003-2006 and measure satisfaction with the vehicles and the service received.

Original entries are in strange foreign languages that I can’t translate (and Olav didn’t have time to translate as he’s a hard working man), but you’ll get the picture. The line that they’re either above or below in the first three graphs is the average, as is the dotted line in the fourth one.

2003:
Survey2003.jpg

2004:
Survey2004.jpg

2005:
Survey2005.jpg

2006:
Survey2006.jpg

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4 Comments

  1. The fact that BMW scores so well just goes to show that the whole “dealership experience” is much more important than reliability to the average consumer.
    Saab has to work much harder on this in North America, where most dealerships are paired with other GM franchises, meaning that customers are treated like cattle.

  2. Very good counterpoint swade. I don’t know how you come up with this stuff–must be your good reputation. I think I’ll bookmark this post for future reference.

  3. There’s a lot of truth to Bernard’s comment, above. Actually, my experience with dealership service has been mixed, but GM was the best of the American big three. The problem with Saab service is that there’s usually only one dealership in town, and it usually isn’t the dealer’s primary line of cars. That means a) you’ve got no where else to go and they know it, and b) they don’t ‘focus’ on Saabs.

    There’s no question that Saab’s reliability has been less than stellar over the last, say, 4-5 years, mostly problems with displays and other electric components. Given that, I believe that here in the US, Saab is percieved as a premium brand which carries certain expectations. Any shortfall has more gravity to the end user as a result.

    Personally, I don’t need or want a car with that level of complexity, hence the C900.

  4. Go to this URL and click on “BMW”.
    http://www.consumeraffairs.com/automotive/manufacturers.htm

    Seems they could have run a better story on BMW (I don’t know that they didn’t). I pity the poor guy who bought a new 2005 model, only to have it catch fire on a busy highway, and BMW says since they can’t find a cause they’re not responsible? He’s out $40,000. Hope he enjoyed his short time with his “ultimate driving machine.”
    I looked under Toyota and Honda and they claim to have complaints for them also, but they don’t show them.

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