After-Sale Service Satisfaction Rises in Indonesia; Ford Ranks Highest in CSI

Road in Jakarta, IndonesiaOverall customer satisfaction with the after-sale service experience in Indonesia improves by 15 points from 2012, to an average of 755 (based on a 1,000-point scale), according to the 2013 Indonesia Customer Service Index (CSI) Study. The largest advances come in two of five factors* evaluated—satisfaction with service initiation and service advisor.

The improvement in after-sale service satisfaction is noteworthy as there has been sales growth in the country during the past few years, which makes it critical to continue to manage customer expectations. Light-vehicle deliveries in 2013 are expected to increase by about 10% (to 1.1 million units) from 2012, based on a forecast from strategic partner LMC Automotive. Continue reading ›

Indonesia Dealer Service Infrastructure Strained by Sales Growth

Overall customer satisfaction with the authorized dealer service experience among new-vehicle owners in Indonesia declines 12 points from 2011, to 740 points (on a 1,000-point scale), partly due to a strain on the dealership service infrastructure caused by strong new-vehicle sales growth during the past 5 years, and hence more customers visiting dealer service centers, according to our 2012 Indonesia Customer Service Index (CSI) Study.

This year, satisfaction is lower across all five study factors,* with the largest declines in service initiation and service advisor. According to the study, only 37% of service customers received advance notice from their dealership that vehicle service was due—down 14 percentage points from 2011. In addition, the percentage of customers who scheduled a service visit in advance declined to 22% from 27% in 2011. Continue reading ›

Honda Faces Major Challenge in Southeast Asia

 

Ammar Master

Honda has had a tough sales year in Southeast Asia, as the automaker’s total sales in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines have shrunk by 18%—to 110,000 units—in the first seven months of this year vs. the same period in 2010. Yet, Honda did not start the year poorly. Sales in the first quarter were up 19% year-over-year, to about 60,000 units, partly boosted by the facelift of the Accord and minor changes to the Jazz (sold as the Fit in the United States). The Japanese automaker was betting big on the launch of the Brio, its first eco car model, to further drive up sales volumes in Thailand.

Then, disaster struck Japan in March with the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami. As a result, Honda was forced to slash output by as much as 50% in the second quarter, as key vehicle components from Japan dried up. The lack of supply at dealerships led to a sales downfall in subsequent months. Continue reading ›

Fuel Subsidies Under Scrutiny in Thailand, Indonesia

 

Ammar Master

Policymakers in Thailand and Indonesia are in a quandary over expensive fuel subsidies. While helping to curb inflation and protect consumers from higher global oil prices, these subsidies are also hurting these countries’ national budgets. The decision to remove fuel subsidies, which eventually must happen, is as much an economic decision as it is a political one. As with any subsidies, the purpose is to protect the wider strata of society, and it is usually this group that forms a bulk of the electorate.

In Thailand, the outgoing Democrat-led government has maintained a subsidy on diesel fuel, capping the retail price at THB 30 (Thai Bhat) per liter (USD $1) when global prices are much higher. This was achieved using funds from the State Oil Fund, established in 1979 to protect domestic fuel prices from a global fuel crisis.

The fund is bolstered by imposing levies on certain key oil products when prices are in decline. This money is then used to subsidize domestic fuel prices when global prices are on the rise. Apart from providing a diesel subsidy, Thailand’s State Oil Fund also partly funds subsidies for other alternative fuels such as E-20, E-85, LPG and natural gas for vehicles (NGVs). However, this fund is now running at a deficit. Continue reading ›

Toyota Plans New Small Car for ASEAN Market

Ammar Master

Toyota is planning to build a new small car that we call the EFC in our forecast  for the ASEAN member countries in Southeast Asia. We believe this new model will go into production in 2013, and will first be sold in Thailand and Indonesia, followed by Malaysia a year later.

The EFC will be built on the same platform as the Etios sub-compact that is currently on sale in India. Like the Etios, the focus for the EFC is likely to be on keeping costs in check, while maintaining high quality standards and meeting specific fuel-efficiency requirements. Continue reading ›