Detroit: Improving in the Eyes of the American Consumer

Over the course of the past few months, there has been much attention directed towards the auto industry. Specifically towards the Detroit’s Big-Three, and whether or not there should be an extensive amount of money given to them to bail them out of the massive debt they were in, which was crippling the automotive industry. The common consensus seemed to be that they didn’t deserve the bail-out money due to a lack of quality production. People felt as if the vehicles being produced out of Detroit just weren’t up to par with other foreign auto makers.

While these Giants may have had their ups and downs, they have apparently picked up the slack in recent years, as they have topped the charts in terms of customer satisfaction according to one article which was posted on According to a report released by University of Michigan, Detroit had some of the largest gains in customer satisfaction, with Ford at a 5 % increase from last year, Chrysler at a 4 %, and GM at 2%. GM’s Cadillac continues to top the charts for the second year straight, producing a 7.2 % increase in customer satisfaction. The American Consumer Satisfaction Index attributes this rise in consumer satisfaction to three primary factors:

1)Consumers more readily recognizing improvements in quality and service
2)Car prices have evened out, and even decreased with rebates and other incentives
3)The Automakers’ consumer base has shrunk

While it takes a long period of time for a consumer to change their perception from negative to positive regarding a company, the time in which it takes to lose that positive support is much less. It is for this reason that a smaller consumer base and increasing customer satisfaction can be seen as a good thing. With the consumer base decreasing, those who remain are becoming more and more satisfied, helping the percentage increase.

“For Detroit, serving a smaller, more satisfied customer base should be easier to manage and to build from compared to what they had before, which was a large diversified mass of customers that almost always had lower satisfaction than those who bought cars from foreign competitors.” says ACSI spokesperson Claes Fornell. These are only some of the improvements being made in Detroit since the bail-out.

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