ANN ARBOR—The U.S. auto industry, like the economy at large, couldn’t escape the crosshairs of the COVID-19 global pandemic. But that’s not the only hurdle the industry has to overcome: New data indicate an ongoing, industrywide customer satisfaction decline.

Overall customer satisfaction with automobiles and light vehicles slid 1.3 percent to a score of 78 (out of 100), and 17 brands posted downturns year over year, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) Automobile Report 2019-2020.

Customer satisfaction decreased across all automakers—foreign and domestic—for the second straight year and now sits at its lowest level in five years. European manufacturers held their lead over Asian and U.S. cars despite a two-point downturn to 79. U.S. automakers also fell two points to 76, trailing European cars by the same gap seen in 2019. Asian manufacturers slipped one point to 78.

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