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Jaguar, Buick top latest J.D. Power service satisfaction study

According to J.D. Power, Jaguar and Buick have the best service in the industry.

Jaguar has vaulted to the top of J.D. Power & Associates' latest U.S. Customer Service Index Study.

J.D. Power's annual CSI study ranks most luxury and mass-market brands based on satisfaction with service at a franchised dealer facility. The study is based on a 1,000 point scale, with a higher score reflecting a higher level of satisfaction. The study is limited to owners and lessees of 1- to 5-year old vehicles.

After all the numbers were crunched, Jaguar came out on top of the luxury category with an overall score of 877. Last year Jaguar ranked below the industry average with a score of 853.

Lexus, meanwhile, maintained its second-place position last year with a score of 870. Audi (865), Lincoln (861) and Cadillac (858) rounded out the top five. Somewhat ironically, Land Rover, a sister company to Jaguar, finished dead last in the study's luxury category with a score of 823.

For the second consecutive year, General Motors' Buick brand topped the CSI study for mass market brands with a score of 836. The top five brands in the study actually carried over unchanged from last year, although there was some jostling of positions. When the dust settled, MINI finished in the second spot (834), followed by Volkswagen (818), GMC (811) and Chevrolet (807).

Although General Motors fared well in the mass market part of the study, cross-town rivals Ford and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles struggled mightily. The Ford brand finished in 15th place with 776 points, trailing the mass market brand average of 792. FCA's Chrysler, Fiat, Ram, Dodge and Jeep represented the bottom of the barrel with scores of 775, 762, 756, 749 and 740, respectively.

Interestingly, the study found that recall-related repairs made up about 16 percent of all reported trips to the dealer, representing a high watermark for the study. However, automakers are handling those recall repairs much better than in years past, with satisfaction scores averaging 789 points, up from 777 points in 2014. In fact, satisfactions scores for recall repairs averaged 8 points higher than regular repair visits.

"Even though recalls can create a large influx of customers into the service department and really strain capacity, automakers are better prepared to handle recalls than they were a few years ago,” said Chris Sutton, vice president, U.S. automotive retail practice at J.D. Power. "Manufacturers have shown that it is possible to turn a potential negative into a positive when it comes to recalls if they're done in a way that doesn't inconvenience the customer.”

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