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KBB Names ‘Brand Image’ Winners as J.D. Power Announces Service Satisfaction Leaders

April 10, 2014

Kelley Blue Book has named the winners of its 2014 Brand Image Awards while J.D. Power and Associates has revealed the brands whose dealership service departments have gotten the highest customer satisfaction rankings in their benchmark study.

Kelley Blue Book, recognized by many as a reliable source of new and used car information, has its own Brand Image Awards. The awards are given in recognition of “automakers’ outstanding achievements in creating and maintaining brand attributes that capture the attention and enthusiasm of the new-vehicle buying public.”

“The classic saying ‘perception is reality’ falls true with the Kelley Blue Book Brand Image Awards, as more than 12,000 in-market new-car shoppers have voiced their opinions about today’s automakers,” said Hwei-Lin Oetken, Kelley Blue Book’s Vice President of Market Intelligence, in a statement.

The Kelley Blue Book Brand Image Awards has three categories: non-luxury, luxury and truck.

In the non-luxury category, Honda emerged as the Best Overall Brand, a title it also held last year. There are 12 Brand Watch factors, and the Japanese brand got the highest average scores in all of them. These factors are the following: affordability, “cool” factor, driving comfort, driving performance, durability/reliability, exterior styling, fuel efficiency, interior layout, prestige/sophistication, reputation, ruggedness and safety.

Honda earned the top honor for the second year in a row thanks to positive consumer perception of some of its most popular nameplates. These are Accord, Civic, CR-V and Odyssey.

Honda was also named the Most Trusted Brand, a title it has held for three straight years. For 2014, the aforementioned nameplates are also those that improved the scores of the brand.

Mercedes-Benz dethroned BMW as the Best Overall Brand in the luxury category this year. Lexus was again named the Most Trusted Luxury Brand, the title it held last year. Lexus got favorable feedback from luxury shoppers thanks to its ES, IS, LX and RX models.

As for the truck category, Ford got the Best Overall Truck Brand award for the fifth time since the Kelley Blue Book started handing out the awards. Trucks like the F-150 and the Super Duty F-250 helped cement Ford’s reputation as the best in truck brands.

Meanwhile, J.D. Power and Associates conducted a survey to determine which brands have dealership service departments that get the highest marks from customers. The U.S. Customer Service Index (CSI) Study gauges the satisfaction of owners and lessees of 1- to 5-year-old vehicles regarding maintenance and repair dealership services. Each brand is scored based on a 1,000-point scale.

For the first time, two General Motors brands got the highest rankings in Power’s CSI Study.

Cadillac was the top luxury brand in 2014 with 872 points. It ousted Lexus, which dropped to third place with 867 points. Completing the top five in the luxury brand category is Audi at second place (868 points), Infiniti and Lincoln (both with 865 points).

Among mass market brands, Buick got the highest ranking with 835 points. It joins two other GM brands in the top five: GMC (828 points) and Chevrolet (812 points).

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