In fact, Jaguar scored the highest ever since the 20-year-old survey was redesigned in 2001, J.D. Power reported yesterday. The annual benchmark was based on responses from 42,218 new-vehicle buyers and measures satisfaction based on the dealership facility, salesperson, paperwork/financing process, vehicle price and delivery process.
Cadillac moved from fifth place last year to second, while Porsche and Lincoln tied for third. GM's Saturn division tied with Lexus for fifth place. Saturn was the only non-premium nameplate to rank in the top five.
Tom Gauer, senior director of auto retail research at J.D. Power, said Jaguar scored exceptionally well in terms of its salespeople.
"They are in tune with needs and expectations of customers, as are their finance personnel. Consumers say they show concern for budget, for offering the best vehicle for a customer's needs," he said.
Porsche scored well for dealership-facility measures--which is not a surprise, since the company engaged on a national retail facility upgrade in 2003.
Lexus dropped to fifth place from second place in 2005, although their performance score is virtually identical to last year's.
"It is still very strong performance, but when you look at Jaguar, Cadillac, Lincoln and Porsche it comes back to same story we see again and again in the industry. If the overall industry continues to improve and you don't, you get left behind," Gauer said.
That's not likely to worry parent Toyota Motor Sales, since Lexus posted its best-ever sales month in October, and is currently the top luxury marque in the U.S. "Still," said Gauer, "It's something to be tuned in to."