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Old 07-06-2009   #1
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why are Fiat bottom of the 2009 JD Power Survey?

just seen the latest jd power/what car customer satisfaction survey - and fiat (again!) are right at the bottom of the manufacturers.

now since this is based on actual customer ownership we cant dismiss it as the usual journalist and non-owner anti-fiat bias that we all know is out there.

but im just a bit puzzled - ive had a seicento,a panda and now an abarth 500...and over a number of years they've all been bulletproof. and reading the forums it seems to be a similar story, certainly with the panda and the 500.

so whats causing this - is it just the 'big' fiats that are unreliable??
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Old 07-06-2009   #2
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Re: why are Fiat bottom of the 2009 JD Power Survey?

I'm a sales manager at a Mazda Dealership. Top ten places in these surveys are always taken mainly by Japanese manufacturers. Not just because the product is so reliable, but because the Dealers are good. The main problem Fiat has, and they know it, is their Dealers!
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Old 07-06-2009   #3
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Re: why are Fiat bottom of the 2009 JD Power Survey?

Quote Originally Posted by Mollie View Post
I'm a sales manager at a Mazda Dealership. Top ten places in these surveys are always taken mainly by Japanese manufacturers. Not just because the product is so reliable, but because the Dealers are good. The main problem Fiat has, and they know it, is their Dealers!
I'll agree with this. Went around a few yesterday and none of them were helpful One of them allowed us to travel 50 miles to view a car that was out with the service manager!
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Old 07-06-2009   #4
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Re: why are Fiat bottom of the 2009 JD Power Survey?

Hello

may I ask for some help please? I can not seem to find the correct area for posting a thread? Sorry, but I am sure its staring me in the face..somehwere ( looked everywhre!!)..

With Thanks in advance..
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Old 07-06-2009   #5
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Re: why are Fiat bottom of the 2009 JD Power Survey?

That's right. Good cars, some great cars, same problems as all cars have sometimes; and too often a dismissive attitude from the dealers.

They just don't seem to get the fact that after sales are as important as pre-sales. New car buyers are likely to be the ones to buy again after two, three or four years, and if they have had a bad time with servicing and fixing problems they will be smarting, and go elsewhere. With the Bravo and now the 500 Fiat has had the opportunity to embrace a new constituency of buyers, but it looks like the dealers are as stubborn as ever.

I have a friend with a little Daihatsu and every year it goes in for its annual service. He is met with warmth and a genuine welcome, and a chat about mutually interesting subjects, he gets a loan car for as long as he needs it, and the job is done efficiently and reasonably. The little thing goes on, never needing anything doing between services and everybody is happy. The new exhausts and brakes and tyres are all fitted properly and correctly, and this ancient little car, which belts around Europe like demented hamster, is as reliable and confidence inspiring as the day it was bought ten years ago.

They make little money from him, but they stay in business.

Why would he go anywhere else for his next car? He won't.

There's something odd about Fiat dealerships; often good people, but an uncomfortable atmosphere; like David Brent is in charge.
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Old 07-06-2009   #6
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Re: why are Fiat bottom of the 2009 JD Power Survey?

Quote Originally Posted by stiloto View Post
Hello

may I ask for some help please? I can not seem to find the correct area for posting a thread? Sorry, but I am sure its staring me in the face..somehwere ( looked everywhre!!)..

With Thanks in advance..
Hiya, when you can see all the threads listed, there is a "New Thread" button above them, just under the "members Motors" Section where the photos are.
Hope that makes sense and helps? I'm still finding my way round too
Thanks stiloto thanked for this post
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Old 07-06-2009   #7
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Re: why are Fiat bottom of the 2009 JD Power Survey?

Quote Originally Posted by stiloto View Post
Hello

may I ask for some help please? I can not seem to find the correct area for posting a thread? Sorry, but I am sure its staring me in the face..somehwere ( looked everywhre!!)..

With Thanks in advance..
i assume you have a stilo
https://www.fiatforum.com/stilo/
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Old 07-06-2009   #8
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Re: why are Fiat bottom of the 2009 JD Power Survey?

YuP its FIATs Dealers
Lexus have been No1 for a number of years
I used to work on the redevelopments of Lexus showrooms and know just how strictly this Japanese manufacturer [Toyota] controls its dealers.

Did a job on a FIAT ALFA Dealership once
and to be honest FIAT UK's Dealer Development information pack was very poor compared to the raft of info we had helped LexusGB to create for their Dealers.

The FIAT ALFA Dealer I worked with got very little support from the manufacturer, compared to LGB, but had managed to develop customer confidence in the ALFAs they sold...simply by being VERY strict in their OWN dealership developed extended PDI [pre delivery inspection] checks before they let new ALFA's leave the dealership. The Dealer Principal hinted that his Dealership virtually retested every bit of wiring on a new ALFA to make it reliable!
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Old 07-06-2009   #9
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Re: why are Fiat bottom of the 2009 JD Power Survey?

When I wanted to order my 500, I rang the dealership on the Monday. Made an appointment for Thursday, asking to drive a 1.2. I was told that the demo was sold, but she was sure there would be a car available, as I had given them ample time. The lady I spoke to was a "Sales Co-ordinator", and she had made an appointment for a salesman to deal with me. Come Thursday, I announced my arrival with reception, who said the salesman was with customers (which I could see), but she would inform him that I was there. He finished with the customers, and because he wasn't told I was there, he was chatting to other staff. After about 15 mins, I approached reception again, this time she spoke to the salesman. He apologised, but worse still, he didn't have me down as an appointment! And of course, NO car for me to drive. Luckily for him, I had gone to buy a car, which I still did, despite the lack communication. Dan the salesman was fine, but this is why I still reserve judgement on the Dealership.
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Old 07-06-2009   #10
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Re: why are Fiat bottom of the 2009 JD Power Survey?

I had the same problem at a Toyota dealership, it didn't inspire me with confidence. The salesman was also half-cut after a night out the night before, I wasn't very impressed.
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Old 07-06-2009   #11
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Re: why are Fiat bottom of the 2009 JD Power Survey?

Fiats are reliable (ask any member of the AA/RAC) this survey focuses more on "what was the coffee like in the showroom" etc....more snobbery than the actual vehicle itself.

A quick google revealed honda & toyota have had more recalls on their cars than anyone else...you see its easy to make certain areas look good/bad.

However Fiat need to get tought with their dealerships or more specifically the large dealership chains who blatantly disregard dealer standards, put profit before customer satisfaction etc...
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Old 07-06-2009   #12
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Re: why are Fiat bottom of the 2009 JD Power Survey?

Quote Originally Posted by Shminty View Post
I had the same problem at a Toyota dealership, it didn't inspire me with confidence. The salesman was also half-cut after a night out the night before, I wasn't very impressed.
You might want to use this contact info then

Customer Relations
Toyota GB plc
Great Burgh
Burgh Heath
Epsom
Surrey KT18 5UX

Tel:- 01737 367600
Fax:- 01737 367721

It all gets logged and is set against their score in the JD Power Survey
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Old 07-06-2009   #13
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Re: why are Fiat bottom of the 2009 JD Power Survey?

Not really as they can disregard a percentage of the results (i.e. the bad ones!)

This is what makes the survey (and others like it) unfair as lexus will only submit a small amount due to being rather exclusive wethers the likes of fiat/ford/vauxhall have to submit more. If they all only had to submit say 10 surveys each everyone would finish first.
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Old 07-06-2009   #14
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Re: why are Fiat bottom of the 2009 JD Power Survey?

Quote Originally Posted by T14086 View Post
A quick google revealed honda & toyota have had more recalls on their cars than anyone else...you see its easy to make certain areas look good/bad.
Being open with recalls is a positive thing
Too many manufacturers hide the number of recalls for fear of knocking customer confidence

Take the case of the BMW Mini

It has been 'hinted at' the reason BMW offered cheap servicing [lock in] with new Mini's was so they could be certain the cars would be back in their own dealerships regularly so they could fix recall issues in a subversive manner unknown to their customers.

A mate who had one of the first Cooper S models had the following in the first 2 years of ownership
LOADS of A pillar plastic trims replaced FREE
[they just seem to fly off at 70mph on the motorway]
Rear light replaced FREE to cure water leak creating electrical fault
Power steering pump replaced FREE priorto any failure
[ever heard a mini while its parking? that pump sounds like a piglet!]
Wiper motor replaced FREE priorto any failure
Backs of front seats replaced repeatedily as they kept breaking or coming off

Because BMW/Mini's CRM [Customer Relationship Management] is so good everybody still maintains the view that the Mini is a great car

Then on the other hand........with our original LHD Smart car I have had to fight DiamlerChrysler Mercedes UK tooth and nail to get a number of serious safety issue related undisclosed design faults put right at no cost to us. Which would not have happened if there had not been a Smart Owners Forum for the last 10 years
Poorest case was a turbo manifold failure issue
If you were a vocal forum member you could get it replaced for free, even well beyond the warranty period/mileage
If you were an uniformed Smart Owner you ended up with a 650 bill for replacement.
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Old 07-06-2009   #15
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Re: why are Fiat bottom of the 2009 JD Power Survey?

Quote Originally Posted by T14086 View Post
Not really as they can disregard a percentage of the results (i.e. the bad ones!)
I guess there is truth in that
It is also down to the product
I had the use of a GS300 for three years and taking it from 67k to 130k mileage with it still running sweet as a nut
starting on the button
and ALL the electric gizmos still working it was a fantastic rebadged Toyota
Another car we had in the fleet that I used was a Mk2 GS300 Sport that had 150k on the clock and ran and worked as if it was new
Great cars, just a shame their MPG is so dire!!
[not a problem when your doing 'company' mileage]
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