First Call to Insurer Sets Tone for Canadian Auto Insurance Claimant Satisfaction


Jeremy Bowler

Although settlement of an auto insurance claim is the most important factor among six measures* evaluated in our 2013 Canadian Auto Claims Satisfaction Study, the first phone call that a claimant makes to the insurance provider or agent after an accident or vehicle damage incident sets the tone for the whole claims process. The first notice of loss call averages 18 minutes, according to the study.

 Auto Insurance Claimant Satisfaction Differs by Province

Our inaugural Auto Claims Satisfaction Study in Canada finds that satisfaction with the auto claims experience varies between provinces. For instance, satisfaction ranges from a high index of 840 (on a 1,000-point scale) in Quebec to only 753 on average in Manitoba. Satisfaction scores for some of the other regions are: Ontario (800); Alberta (770); British Columbia (767); and Saskatchewan (760).

Overall, the industry satisfaction score with the auto claims experience in Canada averages 787. Continue reading ›

Canadian Dealer Financing Satisfaction Reaches Record Level in 2013


Lubo Li

As the economy in Canada improves and dealers have been able to sell more new vehicles, Canadian dealer financing satisfaction continues to improve from 2012 across all four segments measured—Prime Retail Credit; Retail Leasing; Floor Planning; and Sub-Prime Retail Credit.* In fact, according to our 2013 Canadian Dealer Financing Satisfaction Study,SM dealer satisfaction with finance providers in Canada is the highest it has been since the study was first conducted in 1998.

Overall dealer satisfaction in each of the four segments advances by more than 20 points from 2012. Canada’s dealers are most satisfied with floor planning support in 2013; Floor Planning improves by 21 points from 2012 to 910 (on a 1,000-point scale). Prime Retail Credit and Retail Leasing satisfaction each climb by 24 points to averages of 883 and 858, respectively. Sub-Prime Retail Credit also advances from 2012 by 19 points to 846.

After achieving near-record auto sales (1.67 million units) in 2012 and recording strong deliveries in the first quarter of 2013, Canada’s dealers are optimistic about their business. Our company’s Power Information Network® (PIN) finds that three of four dealers anticipate that their sales will increase in 2013 from 2012. Continue reading ›

Multi-Channel Interaction Gains Ground for Auto Insurance Customers in Canada


Jeremy Bowler

Mainstream adoption of technology is making a big difference in the way auto insurance customers in Canada interact with their insurance provider, according to our 2013 Canadian Auto Insurance Satisfaction Study, which is based on responses from 11,257 auto insurance policyholders in Canada.

An increasing number of consumers are going to the Web for their first point of contact to gather information, according to our 2013 study. This year, the percentage of customers using non-traditional channels, such as an auto insurance provider’s website, has increased by as much as 7 percentage points from 2012, and now accounts for as much as one-third of all customer interactions, depending on the particular region.

Among customers who contact their insurance company, nearly one-half (49%)—including those of agent/broker-based insurers (43%) and direct insurers (57%)—use multiple channels to contact their provider. Continue reading ›

Global Light-Vehicle Market Grows in 2012 Despite Troubles

GlobalAutoForecasting_imageThe global light-vehicle market remained stable in the final month of 2012 and overall deliveries rose about 5.5% on a selling-day-adjusted basis. For the 2012 calendar year, world vehicle sales reached nearly 81 million units, up from 76.7 million in 2011, which represents a 5.2% improvement.

Particularly noteworthy advances were observed in the U.S. auto market, Japan and in China, while weak sales continued to play out in Western European countries. That region has been dealing with a major financial crisis, severely impacting as many as eight of 17 nations in the euro bloc.

Lower vehicle sales in Europe, which accounts for nearly as many unit sales as the U.S. market, foreshadow a likely slowdown in global expansion to between 2% and 3% in 2013 from 2012—even with China’s growth and gains in emerging markets, according to analysis from J.D. Power’s strategic partner LMC Automotive. Continue reading ›

Suzuki Leaves U.S. Auto Market; Focuses on Asian Markets

After 27 years in the United States, Japan’s Suzuki Motor Corp. will stop selling its current lineup of four models here and concentrate on other parts of its global business, particularly business in India and Southeast Asia. The company, which is a major mini car maker in Japan, will continue to market motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles and marine engines in the United States, according to a company statement.

Recently, Suzuki’s U.S. distributor filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in California. Declining sales, a small, aging product lineup, and the strength of the yen were listed as reasons for the Japanese automaker’s decision to exit this market. Separately, Suzuki has stated that it will continue to sell vehicles in Canada, where it once operated a joint venture production plant with General Motors.

In regard to dwindling sales in this market, Suzuki, with a lineup of four models in the U.S. market, sold only 21,172 units through the first 10 months of 2012, which was 5% fewer than last year. Sales have been sliding during the past few years. In fact, Suzuki had its best sales year in the United States five years ago when it sold 102,000 vehicles. Since the company still has 220 U.S. car dealerships, it plans to work out an agreement with dealers to continue to serve current Suzuki vehicle owners with parts and service. All warranties will be honored, according to a company statement.

Suzuki to Focus On Stronger Asian markets

The Japanese automaker may be leaving the U.S. auto market, but plans to bolster its business in other parts of the world—especially in the growth markets of India and Southeast Asia. Currently, Suzuki has a 3% share of global auto sales—the same as in 2011, according to analysis from our strategic partner LMC Automotive.

Region 2011 2012
Global 3.0% 3.0%
Japan 13.4% 12.3%
India 33.8% 33.5%
ASEAN 3.2% 3.7%

 Source: LMC Automotive

Its Maruti Suzuki India unit is a market leader in that country, and deliveries accounted for nearly 40% of the company’s total 2.49 million unit sales in its last fiscal year. This year, Suzuki’s market share in India—though still the largest—is 33.5%, down slightly from 33.8% a year ago. Continue reading ›

Canadian Auto Insurance Policyholders are More Satisfied with Carriers

Lubo Li

Customer satisfaction with Canadian auto insurance companies improves this year in each of the three geographic regions evaluated, mainly due to fewer premium increases in addition to higher satisfaction with policy offerings, according to results in our 2012 Canadian Auto Insurance Study. This year’s study is based on responses from 11,620 auto insurance policyholders. Some findings from each of the regions are highlighted below:

Quebec Region

Satisfaction in the Quebec region increases by 17 points (based on a 1,000-point scale), which is the largest increase in score among all three regions from 2011. Satisfaction increases significantly in two of the five factors* that make up the overall customer satisfaction index: billing and payment (+21 points) and price (+19 points). In addition, only 11% of customers in the Quebec region say they experienced an insurer-initiated rate hike—the lowest percentage in all three regions.

La Capitale ranks highest in customer satisfaction among Quebec’s auto insurance companies with a score of 850 (on a 1,000-point scale). In fact, La Capitale receives the highest index score among carriers in all three regions this year. Continue reading ›

North American Production Posts Double-Digit Year-to-Date Increase

Through the first seven months of 2012, North American light-vehicle production volume has climbed 23% (up by nearly 1.7 million units) from the same period in 2011, mainly due to major increases in production for Honda and Toyota Groups, post-recovery from setbacks related to the March earthquake and tsunami in Japan in 2011. Honda’s . . . Continue Reading North American Production Posts Double-Digit Year-to-Date Increase

Social Media Insight: Learning Lessons from the Big Mac

Jeremy Detgen

McDonald’s Canada recently launched a very successful viral campaign consisting of several videos, according to a story in Advertising Age. One behind-the-scenes video has received over 6.9 million views on YouTube. The videos address concerns that customers have about the quality and healthiness of McDonald’s food. Customers have asked questions like “Why does it not look like it does in the picture?” These videos aim to answer basic questions in an effort to be more transparent and authentic.

Authenticity in any industry is essential when building a social media campaign. While this campaign was a great success, another campaign from McDonald’s USA attempted to promote authenticity and conversation through social media, with disastrous results. The USA campaign initiated conversations on Twitter, prompting customers to share their positive experiences. Although positive stories were the intent, numerous tweets with the campaign hashtag (#McDStories) were used to describe horrible experiences with McDonald’s.

Up and Down Lessons from a Fast Food Giant

So how can the auto industry learn from a fast food company? The most obvious lesson learned from this case study is that social media has great potential, but also presents a risk of losing control over what consumers might say. The Ad Age article Why McDonald’s Canada Social-Media Success Worked for the U.S. suggests that the Canadian campaign did not give people a chance to “trash” it by disabling comments on YouTube, whereas on Twitter, the conversation was completely open. It is valuable to allow comments, but a brand must understand that there may be some criticism and controversy. The key is to manage the conversation, not control it. Continue reading ›

Satisfaction with Dealer Service is Critical to Repurchase Intent in Canada


Ryan Robinson

The link between service satisfaction and future vehicle purchase intent is a critical one, according to results in our 2012 Canadian Customer Commitment Index Study, which measures service satisfaction and loyalty with both new-vehicle dealerships and aftermarket facilities among more than 18,000 owners of vehicles in Canada that are between 4 and 12 years old.

Our study finds that 42% of customers who rate their dealer service experience a 10 (on a 10-point scale) say they “definitely will” purchase the same make the next time they shop for a new vehicle. In contrast, only 7% of customers who rate their service experience between one and five on the same scale say they “definitely will” purchase the same make. Continue reading ›

Shoppers Consume Information on OEM Websites with Multiple Devices

Arianne Walker

In the past 6 months, there has been a major shift in the way new-vehicle shoppers are consuming information found on the Internet, according to results in Wave 2 of our semi-annual 2012 Manufacturer Website Evaluation Study (MWES). We find that a higher percentage of new-vehicle shoppers now own tablets compared with January when Wave 1 of the 2012 study was released (35% vs. 20%, respectively).

In Wave 2 of the study, we see that more automakers are trying to meet the needs of tablet shoppers in addition to traditional desktop PC shoppers, often with one website. Since more than one-third of shoppers are using tablets, their expectations continue to change, which makes it increasingly important for OEMs to incorporate specific navigational elements to help these shoppers use their websites, regardless of the type of device being used.

Many automaker-sponsored websites have introduced content in a layout that places information below the illusory fold on the screen, so that visitors must scroll more to get that content. While this way of displaying information is acceptable to tablet users, it can be frustrating for desktop users. Continue reading ›