95 Black GMC Jimmy
Alma, West Virginia, United States
95 Black GMC Jimmy
During the economic downturn, many car dealerships counteracted their slowing income by focusing on things that would set them apart from competition - things like the quality of customer service they provide. When the economy picked up and more sales and service followed, many also first invested those funds back into the business, improving their dealership facilities and service centers.
It looks like those investments are paying off, as J.D. Power and Associates' latest Customer Service Index Study shows that overall consumer satisfaction with dealer service has increased to 797 (on a 1,000-point scale), up from 787 in 2012 and 29 points higher than the score in 2011. The study also finds that people are more satisfied with the service they get at dealerships compared to independent service providers, despite the much higher average out-of-pocket cost per visit ($118 vs. $44).
Note, however, that this study only looks at how people are treated by a dealer's service department during the first three years of ownership (the survey is based on responses from 91,000 owners and lessees of 2008 to 2012 model year vehicles), so we're talking about the experience had when bringing a car in for repair or maintenance work, most likely under warranty. In fact, maintenance work is increasing in share and accounted for 77 percent of service visits (up from 72 percent in 2012 and 63 percent in 2011). This helps explain why customer satisfaction has also risen, since a properly maintained car is one that's less likely to require a dealer visit for an unexpected repair.
The Cadillac Escalade has been at or near the top of most-stolen and insurance-loss lists for more than seven years, until it dropped to number six earlier this year. In 2011 it was fitted with a host of new security features to address its easy-to-override features and that has brought the number of thefts down, but when eight of the ten most stolen rides are large SUVs from General Motors, no one will argue that something else needs to be done.
Thus, GM has fitted this same theft-deterring tech to the 2015 Suburban, Tahoe and Yukon. The Suburban and Tahoe will get the steering lock that the Escalade and Yukon already get, plus bolted-down third-row seats to deter thefts like this, stronger door lock cylinders and shields, and side-cut keys to inhibit picking.
Additional security measures in a Theft Protection Package can be purchased for $395, consisting of sensors on the greenhouse glass and interior, an incline/tilt sensor and added "key control systems" to make it more difficult for the men in black balaclavas to steal what you bought.
2010 Buick Enclave - Click above for high-res image gallery
The summer of 2010's recall hit parade continues unabated today, with General Motors having just announced that it is asking 243,403 owners of its 2009-2010 Lambda crossovers to bring their three-row haulers in for inspection. The culprit? Second-row seat belts in select Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia, and Saturn Outlook CUVs have "failed to perform properly in a crash."
According to GM, a second-row seat-side trim piece is to blame, as it can impede the upward rotation of the buckle after the seat is folded flat. As a result, if the buckle makes contact with the seat frame, cosmetic damage can occur, potentially requiring additional force to operate the buckle properly. So far, no great shakes, but in the process of applying that additional force, the occupant may push the buckle cover down to the strap, potentially revealing and depressing the red release button. As a result of this, the belt may not latch, or in certain cases, it may actually appear to be latched when, in fact, it isn't.