GM, Toyota Brands Top Satisfaction Index

General Motors Co. (GM)’s Cadillac brand and Toyota Motor Corp. (7203)’s namesake division and luxury Lexus line topped the American Customer Satisfaction Index’s annual ranking of automakers.

Toyota was the only non-premium brand in the top five, tying Cadillac and Lexus with 87 on a scale of 100, followed by Ford Motor Co. (F)’s Lincoln and Daimler AG (DAI)’s Mercedes-Benz with 86. Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) was No. 11, receiving an 83, dropping three points to its lowest mark since an 80 in 1997.

The Toyota score is “a surprise,” Claes Fornell, who created the index in 1994, said in a phone interview. “Toyota makes a fair amount of fairly low-priced cars. For them to be that well-received is impressive, especially when you have a company like BMW scoring lower.”

The index is based on interviews with about 70,000 customers annually concerning satisfaction with goods and services. The annual auto rankings, based on data from 5,000 surveys collected during the second quarter, were released today.

The auto industry improved by 1 point to 83, its second- highest mark. Chrysler Group LLC’s Chrysler brand was the lowest-rated nameplate in the survey at 76.

To contact the reporter on this story: Joshua Armstrong in Southfield, Michigan at jarmstrong39@bloomberg.net

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Toyota ‘100 Cars for Good’ Program Delivers First Cars to Winning Organizations

Starting today, Toyota will deliver the first three vehicles to winners of its “100 Cars for Good” program. 100 Cars for Good is a major new philanthropic program from Toyota that is awarding 100 vehicles to 100 nonprofit organizations over the course of 100 days, based on votes from the public.

Today, Toyota kicks off the vehicle deliveries by awarding a Toyota Sienna minivan to representatives of the Community Soup Kitchen and Outreach Center at the organization’s location in Morristown, New Jersey.  Representatives of the Toyota of Morristown dealership will join Toyota Motor North America President Yoshimi Inaba at the event to celebrate the delivery. The Community Soup Kitchen and Outreach Center works to help the homeless, working poor and elderly of Morristown and surrounding communities by serving meals and providing supportive services 365 days a year. The Toyota Sienna will enable the organization to pick up even more food donations and feed a greater number of people.

Tomorrow, August 16, the Laura Recovery Center for Missing Children in Friendswood, Texas will receive its Toyota Prius at the Toyota Center in Houston.  Representatives from Ron Carter Toyota in Alvin, Texas will join Jim Lentz, president of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., to make the delivery on the company’s behalf.  The Laura Recovery Center works to prevent child abductions and runaways and to recover missing children by creating closer partnerships among law enforcement, the community and families.  Having a Toyota Prius will allow the Center to expand its educational outreach program, Safe Kids Are Taught Early (SKATE), to more local schools to further decrease risk of child abduction.

Toyota will cap the first vehicle deliveries on Wednesday, August 17, when it delivers a Highlander Hybrid SUV to Sol Collective at the Maita Toyota dealership in Sacramento, California.  Bob Carter, group vice president and general manager, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. will join representatives from Maita Toyota to make the delivery.  Sol Collective is a community-based partnership that aims to use art, education and technology to empower community residents.  The organization will use the Highlander to conduct further outreach into Sacramento’s neighborhoods.

The 100 Cars for Good contest launched in March 2011 with more than 3,000 applicants entering for a chance to win a new Toyota. Applications were reduced down to 500 finalists by an independent panel of judges. The finalists submitted online profiles to rally their friends and supporters and encourage voting on the Toyota USA Facebook page, with five finalists up for consideration by the public each day.

Winning organizations were able to choose from the following vehicles:  Toyota Prius, Tacoma, Tundra, Highlander Hybrid, Sienna or Sienna Mobility.  The vehicles come with a six-year, 100,000-mile Vehicle Service Agreement to provide extended protection beyond the vehicle warranty, compliments of Toyota Financial Services or Gulf States Financial Services.  Runners-up each received a $1,000 donation.

The Toyota 100 Cars for Good Program enables the 100 organizations to receive a Toyota vehicle to make a greater impact on the community.  Winners spanned several categories, including: human services, health and safety, supporting veterans, animal welfare and protecting victims of abuse.

For a complete list of 100 Cars for Good finalists, please visit www.facebook.com/toyota.

For more information on Toyota’s commitment to improving communities nationwide, visit http://www.toyota.com/community.

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