Tesla Gets A Mixed Debut In Largest Danish Car Owner Satisfaction Report

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The Danish Motorist Association (FDM) has released its newest car owner satisfaction report: The Motor AutoIndex 2020. Tesla is represented for the first time since the first report came out in 2003, with mixed results.

The Danish Motor AutoIndex 2020

23,000 Danish car owners across 23 brands contributed to this report by answering over 100 questions with the aim of assessing the satisfaction of car ownership on a number of parameters. The questions are converted to an index score in which 1,000 is the maximum.

An average across all brand and category results is a score of 868, which is 0.7% higher than last year. So, Danes are generally more satisfied with their choice of vehicle.

Tesla has sold enough cars in Denmark now to statistically be able to participate, but before we look at Tesla’s entry position in this index, I wanted to show you how different these results can be presented initially to readers.

What A Difference A Headline Makes

I noticed two very different headlines for the news, and even though it doesn’t bother me much personally, since I read news to get actual information, which tends to hide inside the context, I can’t help thinking how much these headlines shape the opinions in people’s minds.

I only noticed this because I happen to follow Tesla news a lot, so I don’t think the headlines will alter my perception to any significant degree, but I can’t help wondering how my opinions are shaped by all the other headlines I read on topics I don’t spend to much time on?

On the news that Tesla is now included in the Motor AutoIndex, FDM’s member magazine Motor wrote: “Tesla wobbles to a top rating.” The magazine Finans wrote: “Tesla gets overtaken by all other car brands.”

The former occurs to me as being carefully optimistic and honest. The latter occurs to me as unnecessarily bombastic and slightly misleading. Anyway, that was just to point out that if one wants to know something, one must read the data, not the headlines.

Let’s look at the numbers that FDM provided with its AutoIndex 2020. I will only show the 7 out of 23 brands close to Tesla’s score to keep the lists short:

Total score average:

1 BMW (920)
2 Mercedes-Benz (908)
3 Volvo (906)
4 Toyota (903)
5 Audi (888)
6 Tesla (888)
7 VW (884)

Quality score:

1 BMW (926)
2 Mercedes-Benz (917)
3 Volvo (913)
4 Tesla (906)
5 Audi (895)
6 Toyota (890)
7 VW (888)

Dealership score:

18 Renault (873)
19 Ford (872)
20 Nissan (871)
21 Seat (868)
22 Fiat (866)
23 Tesla (824)

Service score:

18 Kia (901)
19 Nissan (900)
20 Audi (895)
21 Ford (894)
22 Tesla (893)
23 Fiat (869)

Loyalty score:

1 BMW (912)
2 Tesla (909)
3 Mercedes-Benz (892)
4 Volvo (881)
5 Audi (866)
6 Toyota (850)
7 VW (850)

As you can see, Tesla spreads out quite a bit, and as a Tesla owner myself, I kind of get it — if you think of Tesla as a dealership and service center like the rest, that is. They must do better, surely, but with a product like this, it shouldn’t be a problem. Let’s hear it from these two renowned media outlets:


(From email, printed magazine, and press release).

“Tesla wobbles to a top rating”

Editor-in-chief of FDM’s member magazine Motor, Bo Christian Koch:

Tesla makes some exciting and good handling cars that the owners are excited about. Tesla owners are also very loyal to the brand. Therefore, it is not surprising that the car brand is at the top when it comes to assessing the car itself.

Unlike other car brands, Tesla does not have an actual dealer network with the customer contact and service it provides. At the same time, as a Tesla owner, you are actually locked into the brand’s workshops, which have been difficult to keep up with, and the wait for repairs and repair of faults has been long. This is not expected for a high priced product, and it will disappoint the car owners.

Tesla is the best-selling electric car in Denmark and can expect to get more critical car owners in the coming years. Therefore, they should also meet the challenge so that it is not only the car itself and the brand that excites, but just as much the experience of all that surrounds it.

Technology editor of FDM’s member magazine Motor, Søren W. Rasmussen:

Tesla has managed to make good cars that live up to people’s expectations. They are very enthusiastic and it is really positive with new cars on the market that come with innovation and quality.

The downside with Tesla is that the organization can’t keep up with the demand. It cannot take on the task of the many customers who are barely in contact with a dealer, but buy the car online. If there is a fault with the car, there are long waiting times to have it repaired and this is unsatisfactory. People who are used to buying expensive cars are also used to good service, but Tesla disappoints in this regard and therefore scores so low in AutoIndex.


(From online article).

“Tesla gets overtaken by all other car brands”

Article author at the magazine Finans, Martin Haahr Lund:

Especially the rating of Tesla, which in its debut takes a total 6th place, points in several directions if you take a closer look at the four different rating areas.

On the positive front, Tesla actually ranks 4th if you look at the quality rating alone.

On the other hand, Tesla fails when the owners have to evaluate the experience of the brand’s dealers and service facilities. Here they end up with the worst ratings, respectively, as the last and second last score among all the other car manufacturers.

In a written statement to Finance, Tesla explains why, according to the car manufacturer, satisfaction in the survey in terms of dealer and workshop satisfaction:

“In recent months, we have halved the waiting period for service contracts — partly because of our new service centers in Hillerød and Vejle, while at the same time expanding our capacity of mobile technicians. We are constantly working to improve every part of the customer experience and will of course investigate whether AutoIndex has relevant suggestions for what we can optimize,” writes Maria Lantz, communications manager for Tesla in the Nordic region, in a mail.

Eat Bread On The Side

“Eat bread on the side” is a Danish saying which means something like, “Don’t worry too much, it’ll be fine.” These are all very subjective results, and I totally get the pros and cons, but in the end it is all about customer satisfaction if your goal is to sell cars. As I said before, since Tesla has a superior product in every way, in my humble opinion at least, it has the potential to climb to the very top of these ratings in the coming years.

It’s good to know that Tesla has focused on expanding service, because this backend is where customers interact with the brand in the long run. Yes, I have personally experienced long waits on simple repairs like a broken piece of plastic and a malfunctioning turn signal stalk, but since I have always been lucky to be offered a loaner car, I have nothing to complain about.

By the way, in 2020, Tesla Model 3 has a 38% market share of all battery electric vehicles sold in the country by now. Here are the top 5 from FDM in terms of units sold (registered):

1) Tesla Model 3 — 953
2) VW e-Golf — 432
3) Hyundai Kona — 206
4) Renault Zoe — 162
5) Nissan Leaf — 135

Photo by Jesper Berggreen. My recent loaner “Ms White” from Tesla that almost had me prefer the beautiful pearl white over my own black “Colin.”

If you choose to buy a Tesla, feel free to use my referral link to get lots of free miles: https://ts.la/jesper18367

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Jesper Berggreen

Jesper had his perspective on the world expanded vastly after having attended primary school in rural Africa in the early 1980s. And while educated a computer programmer and laboratory technician, working with computers and lab-robots at the institute of forensic medicine in Aarhus, Denmark, he never forgets what life is like having nothing. Thus it became obvious for him that technological advancement is necessary for the prosperity of all humankind, sharing this one vessel we call planet earth. However, technology has to be smart, clean, sustainable, widely accessible, and democratic in order to change the world for the better. Writing about clean energy, electric transportation, energy poverty, and related issues, he gets the message through to anyone who wants to know better. Jesper is founder of Lifelike.dk and a long-term investor in Tesla, Ørsted, and Vestas.

Jesper Berggreen has 243 posts and counting. See all posts by Jesper Berggreen