Fiat scoops a first in J.D. Power & Associates Survey


Fiat’s Panda, Europe’s bestselling supermini, ranked first in the budget category of the J.D. Power and Associates 2007 South Africa Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) Study. Ousting five other models in its class, the Panda romped home with a CSI score of 82,6 per cent, nearly 2 percentage points higher than its nearest competitor.

Mr Giorgio Gorelli, Managing Director of Fiat Group Automobiles SA was thrilled with the news, commenting: “I am delighted that a product like Panda is getting the recognition it deserves. As a group, Fiat’s almost obsessive focus on quality and continuous improvement is now starting to reap rich rewards. And, most importantly, the customer is the winner.”

Mr Gorelli added that with new-generation products like Grande Punto, Bravo and 500 (European Car of the Year) garnering even more accolades, ‘Fiat’s quality drive looks set to take off’.

About J.D. Powers and Associates 2007 CSI study

Now in its fourth year, the independent CSI study is a comprehensive measurement of customer satisfaction after 10 to 21 months of ownership that covers 77 attributes grouped in four factors (the importance of each factor is shown as a percentage): vehicle quality and reliability (32%); vehicle appeal (29%)—which includes performance, design, comfort, styling and features; dealership service satisfaction (19%); and cost of ownership (20%)—which includes fuel consumption, insurance and cost of service/repair.

Importance weights are based on survey responses from vehicle owners, thus reflecting what is more important to motorists in South Africa. CSI performance is reported as an index score based on a 1,000-point scale, with a higher CSI score indicating a more satisfying ownership experience.