Mike Stevens | Jul 19, 2011

New survey figures from market research group Roy Morgan shows that, among Australia's European brands, Volvo and Renault customers are the most satisfied.

Both companies achieved a satisfaction rating of 94 percent in this year's survey - a slight increase over 2006, which saw Volvo at 92 percent and Renault at 93 percent.

While Renault has climbed to equal first place from equal second place in 2006, this year's survey has seen Volvo climb from fourth.

Worryingly, the Swedish and French duo are among only three European brands to experience improvement since the last survey, with Mercedes-Benz (93 percent, up from 92 percent) rounding out the the top three.

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According to the Roy Morgan research, all other European brands have suffered a drop in customer satisfaction - with Audi, Alfa Romeo, Peugeot and Volkswagen clinging to the low 90s.

BMW and Land Rover have fallen from the low 90s to the high 80s, and Citroen has suffered most of the previously well-scoring brands, falling from 92 percent to 82 percent.

The French brand is also experiencing a slow year, with year-to-date sales on 690 at the end of June - compared to 800 for the same period in 2010. Australian Citroen importer Ateco will be looking to the all-new C3, C4 and DS3 to boost the brand's local appeal.

The hardest-hit has been Saab, falling from a relatively dismal 87 percent in 2006 to 82 percent in 2011. In Australia, recent years have seen Saab battling with an ageing model line-up and, in the past year, a change of ownership.

With the launch this year of the all-new 9-5 sedan, and the upcoming 9-4X small SUV on the horizon, Saab could be looking at a change in fortunes. With just three 9-5 sales in June however, only time will tell.

The appeal of European brands is growing in Australia: While Roy Morgan estimates that only one million of the country's approximately 14.9 million motorists own a European car, that number represents a 45 percent increase over 2006 figures.

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