Thorough Explanations Enhance After-Sales Service Satisfaction in Vietnam

Vietnam01New-vehicle owners in Vietnam prefer to have the type and scope of maintenance or repair work explained prior to their service visit and after the work is completed at the dealer or authorized service center, according to our 2013 Vietnam Customer Service Index (CSI) Study. When a service advisor provides explanations at the beginning and completion of work, satisfaction improves significantly—by 24 points (on a 1,000-point scale). Continue reading ›

Sales Satisfaction Up in Vietnam Market; Test Drive Can Make a Difference

Traffic on Vietnamese StreetOverall satisfaction with the new-vehicle purchase experience at the dealership has improved by 4 points in 2013 to an average 850 points (on a 1,000-point scale) from 846 points in 2012, according to our 2013 Vietnam Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study. Yet, even with this year’s higher satisfaction score, the study finds areas where dealers can improve sales satisfaction, including offering customers a test drive and spending more time with the buyer during the delivery process.

Offering a test drive—which averages 17 minutes in 2013, compared with 19 minutes in 2012 and 21 minutes in 2011—to new-vehicle buyers who visit a dealership in Vietnam can increase customer satisfaction with the sales process, the study finds. Slightly more than one-third (36%) of buyers actually test drive a vehicle. Continue reading ›

Shorter Delivery Times in Japan Increases Sales Satisfaction Levels

Kimoto Taku NEW_C_Lg

Taku Kimoto

Customer satisfaction with the new-vehicle sales experience in Japan has improved as delivery times are nine days shorter on average than in 2012 when there were longer delays in delivery due to the initiation of an eco-car subsidy program, according to our 2013 Japan Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study.

This year, the average time for delivery to buyers of non-hybrid vehicles declines to 28 days from 34 days in 2012, and the delivery time for hybrids drops by 23 days and averages 50 days instead of 73 days. Among Japan’s domestic brands, Toyota—the largest seller of hybrid vehicles in Japan—and Honda, which had its production in 2012 negatively affected by flooding in Thailand, achieve notable reductions in delivery times. Continue reading ›

Ownership Costs Most Important in 2013 Brazil VOSS

Jon Sederstrom-Final

Jon Sederstrom

Overall vehicle ownership satisfaction in Brazil averages 733 (on a 1,000-point scale), according to our 2013 Brazil Vehicle Ownership Satisfaction Study (VOSS), and ownership cost satisfaction—which accounts for the highest importance weight in the study’s overall satisfaction index—receives the lowest average score among the four measures that are examined.

The 2013 study, based on evaluations of 8,387 online interviews with new-vehicle owners in the country after 12 to 36 months of ownership, evaluates four measures of satisfaction across the new-vehicle ownership experience. In order of importance, these measures are: ownership costs (42%); service satisfaction (23%); vehicle appeal (19%); and vehicle quality/reliability (16%).

Among all countries in which J.D. Power publishes the Vehicle Ownership Satisfaction Study, owners in Brazil place the most importance on the cost of owning a vehicle. In part, this is due to spending a larger percentage of their income on vehicle service and repairs, fuel, taxes, and insurance. Continue reading ›

Exceptional Service Advisors May Lead to Higher Satisfaction with Dealer Service in the Philippines

manila-trafficNew-vehicle owners in the Philippines this year put more importance on personal interaction and having exceptional service advisors as a first point of contact at the dealership, according to our 2013 Philippines Customer Service Index (CSI) Study.

The study, which measures overall customer service satisfaction among more than 1,800 vehicle owners who visited an authorized service center for maintenance or repair work during the first 12 to 24 months of ownership, finds that overall satisfaction with service at authorized dealerships improves by an average of 4 points in 2013 to 832 (on a 1,000-point scale) vs. last year. Continue reading ›

Building Loyalty, Improving Service are Keys to Satisfaction in Germany’s Auto Market


Mark Lendrich

In light of a less-than-robust outlook for new-vehicle sales in Germany during the next few years, automakers and dealers need to focus on loyalty, awareness of crucial factors that influence the purchase decision, and they need to improve service business, according to our 2013 Germany Vehicle Ownership Satisfaction Study (VOSS), a collaborative effort with AUTO TEST, the magazine in Germany for readers planning to buy a new car.

In 2013, overall satisfaction among owners of one- to three-year-old vehicles in Germany averages 789 points (on a 1,000-point scale). In the 2013 study, vehicle appeal, which accounts for 27% of the index weight, and ownership costs (25%) are the two key drivers of overall satisfaction. The remaining two factors evaluated and their weights are: vehicle quality and reliability (24%); and service satisfaction (23%). Continue reading ›

What Will the Auto Retailer Look Like in the Future—by 2020 to 2025?

Three auto retailer owner/operators discussed opportunities and challenges that lie ahead for dealerships today and in the near future, during a one-day New York Automotive Forum jointly sponsored by J.D. Power and Associates and the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) that was held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel before the New York International Auto Show (March 29 – April 7).

NY Auto Forum Audiencei-hnNQR2z-SAll dealer panel members pointed out that new-vehicle margin compression is a major concern. In addition, they said that regulation on the F&I side is a near-term concern as is the possibility of increases in interest rates. The panel members told moderator Glenn Mercer, a dealership consultant, that retailers already are challenged now in working with customers so they understand the sophisticated electronics in new vehicles. All agreed that retailing is changing—and that the Internet will be integral but that a physical dealership presence still will be required even in the future. Excerpts from the dealer panel discussion are highlighted in several posts during the next week.

Moderator: Glenn Mercer, Independent Consultant

Earl Hesterberg, President and Chief Executive Officer, Group 1 Automotive, Houston, TX; the fourth-largest public dealership group in the U.S., U.K. and Brazil (142 dealerships)

Jon Lancaster, Retired Toyota/Lexus Dealer, Madison, WI

Wesley (Wes) L. Lutz, Owner, Extreme Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep, Inc., Jackson, MI

Bricks and Clicks—How about Buying a Car on the Internet?

Glenn: We can start off with something that has been a theme throughout the day: “Clicks and Bricks.” At some point in time, is there a “Buy” button on the website?

Jon: I think a differentiator from other industries is: in many cases there is a trade-in. And that trade-in is certainly going to make it a lot more difficult to click the button and have the car show up because they have something they’ve got to get rid of on their doorstep. The technology is there. There’s no question that it can be done. As retailers, it’s up to us to create a relationship with people over the Internet.

Earl: No, I don’t think cars are going to be sold completely on the Internet. Of course everyone’s already doing all their homework there. In the state of Texas, we have 45 documents that need to be completed for at least some transactions with a trade-in. . . I don’t think that transaction in the near-term lends itself to an experience.

Wes: For me, sales are always about relationships. Maybe the technology has caught up with the fact that we could sell a car over the Internet but I don’t think we’ve learned how to establish that same type of loyalty and relationship with a customer over the Internet. Our repeat referral business is the heart of what we do. That’s because people like coming back. Continue reading ›

J.D. Power Asia Pacific Expert Considers Aftermarket Drivers in India


Mohit Arora

Earlier this year, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) served notice to 17 automakers in the country for what the Commission termed to be anti-competitive practices. The charge was that these automakers hold restrictive control on the sales of spare parts to their authorized service networks which, in turn, means high prices to consumers. Mohit Arora, executive director of J.D. Power Asia Pacific, addressed the current situation in an article that was published in Japan’s Nikkan Jidosha Shinmbun (Daily Automotive News) recently. The article, “Drivers of a Vibrant Aftermarket in India,” is excerpted:

“Under India’s CCI ruling, the 17 carmakers will be forced to supply parts in the open market and may have to limit sales to their own dealerships. There are key questions that the industry must face if this ruling holds.

• If this happens, would the authorized networks in the Indian automotive industry be ready to embrace a deregulated aftermarket industry akin to mature markets like the United States, Europe and Thailand?

• Can the two networks survive alongside each other profitably?

• How is consumer behavior likely to change once a reasonable aftermarket option is available to them? Continue reading ›

Lexus Remains Highest-Ranking Brand in CSI; GMC Places Highest among Mass-Market Nameplates

Lexus logo Picture 7For a fifth straight year, Lexus ranks highest in overall customer service satisfaction, and is also the highest-performing Premium brand, while GMC earns the highest score among Mass-Market brands, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2013 Customer Service Index (CSI) Study, SM which is based on responses from 91,000 owners or lessees of one- to three-year-old vehicles who have taken their vehicle to a dealer for maintenance or repair service in the past 6 months.

At the industry level, both Premium and Mass-Market brands improve by 11 index points this year. Although Premium brands receive the highest scores and represent the top 10 brands in the overall industry rankings, some individual Mass-Market brands made strong strides forward this year. For instance, all four General Motors brands perform well: Cadillac ranks second-highest overall and among Premium brands, and among Mass-Market brands, GMC, Buick and Chevrolet are among the four highest-ranking nameplates, along with BMW Group’s Mini. Continue reading ›

Customer Service Satisfaction Significantly Improves in All Factors


Chris Sutton

At the industry level, overall satisfaction with customer service increases by 10 points from 2012, which is a pretty significant improvement, according to our 2013 Customer Service Index (CSI) Study. Dealerships are making marked improvements in customer service, as index scores in all five factors measured in the study have increased by double digits from a year ago.

Across-the-board improvements may be partly due to the fact that an even larger percentage of customers (77%) are returning to the dealership for maintenance visits rather than for repair work. A year ago, 72% of customers indicated that their most recent visit to a dealer service department was for an oil change or routine maintenance. In addition, due to a contraction in new-vehicle sales during the Great Recession years of 2008-2009, there is a smaller vehicle population and dealers are working harder to grow and retain service customers.

The 2013 CSI Study finds that there is a higher percentage of maintenance visits at the dealership vs. visits for repair work, which aligns with the fact that the quality of vehicles continues to improve, based on the record improvement in initial vehicle quality noted in our 2012 Initial Quality Study (IQS). In addition, we see that customers are coming back to the dealership for maintenance they can schedule in advance, which is definitely more convenient to them—rather than having to set up repairs times, which may be unexpected or unplanned. Continue reading ›