Jaguar and MINI buyers most satisfied with their showroom experience, survey says

Article by Christian A., on November 19, 2010

The luxury brand shoppers that were most satisfied with their showroom experience are those bought Jaguars, according to the J.D. Power US Sales Satisfaction Index.

Cadillac took second place while Mercedes brand ranked third. Lincoln displayed the greatest improvement from 2009, jumping from sixth to fourth in 2010.When it comes to mass-market brands, Mini buyers were the most satisfied.

The results of this 2010 study come from the responses of 25,244 new-vehicle buyers who purchased or leased their vehicles in May. This study was fielded between August and October.

Following Mini to take second place is Mercury while GMC ranked third in the mass-market segment ratings. The Hyundai brand improved the most compared to the 2009 study. It jumped 9 ranks to finish seventh. After moving up seven spots, the Chrysler brand now ranks eighth.

According to Osborn, the main sign that a vehicle buyer is satisfied with the purchase experience is generally based on how the deal was worked out. Osborn noted that though there are buyers who remember the experience fondly, there have been complaints especially when it comes to negotiating the purchase of a new car.

Retailers need to understand that the process has to be efficient as well as collaborative, considering that the overall satisfaction in completing the deal makes for 33% of what is known as the index weight, Osborn added. In the 2010 U.S. Sales Satisfaction Study, four factors were used to determine overall customer satisfaction when buying a new vehicle.

In order of importance, these are: satisfaction of working out the deal, the salesperson, the delivery process, and facility of the dealership. The results were based on the responses of 25,244 buyers who bought or leased vehicles in May of 2010.

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2010 Sales Satisfaction Index Study

Morethan half (52%) of new-vehicle buyers indicate that dealer treatmentwas a major reason to purchase their new car or light truck from aspecific dealer, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2010 U.S. SalesSatisfaction Index (SSI) Study,SM which analyzes thenew-vehicle purchase experience. Interestingly, the study finds thatonly 38% of buyers cite vehicle price, or the "deal," as the reason forselecting their dealer.

In addition, once a new-vehicle buyer has selected a dealer, the easewith which the negotiation is completed to agree on the final vehicleprice has the greatest influence on buyer satisfaction-surpassing theimportance of fairness of the actual price paid, according to JonOsborn, director of automotive research at J.D. Powerand Associates.

"The process of working out the deal is the primary indicator ofwhether new-vehicle buyers have a satisfactory purchase experience,"Osborn said, noting, "While there are some buyers who enjoy thenegotiation process, many find it to be the most unpleasant part ofpurchasing a new vehicle. It is particularly important for retailers tomake this process as efficient and collaborative as possible, given itsimportance to overall satisfaction-working out the deal accounts for33% of the index weight."

The 2010 U.S. Sales Satisfaction (SSI) Study, whichmeasures four factors of satisfaction (in order of importance orweight)-working out the deal; salesperson; delivery process; anddealership facility-to measure overall customer satisfaction with thenew-vehicle purchase experience, is based on responses from 25,244 new-vehicle buyers who purchased or leased their new vehicle in May 2010.

A few findings from this year's study are highlighted:
In the new-vehicle buying process, negotiating the deal takes thelongest time (53 minutes on average) after selecting the vehicle.
Some 60% of new-vehicle buyers visit more than one dealership during the shopping process.
Although many dealers are rejected for not having the type of vehicle that buyers wanted to purchase, a significant percentage of buyers (18%) end their showroom visit mainly due to poor customer treatment by the dealership salespeople.
A majority (79%) of new-vehicle buyers use the Internet during their shopping process. Nearly one-fourth (24%) of buyers in 2010submitted an online request for quote to a dealer, and were, on average, more satisfied with the negotiation process and price paid.

J.D. Power Perspective: With new-vehicle retail sales remaining soft and manufacturers spending considerable amounts on incentives to get customers into showrooms, the value of prospects coming in to a dealership is extremely high. Dealers cannot afford to drive away customers through poor treatment. In addition, most of the rejecters goon to purchase a different brand of vehicle, meaning that both the individual dealer and the automaker lose out.-Jon Osborn, director of automotive research at J.D. Power and Associates

Jaguar Ranks Highest among All Brands for Providing Satisfying SalesExperience
Jaguar,for a third consecutive year, ranks highest among luxury brands in satisfying buyers with the new-vehicle buying experience, according to the 2010 Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study. Jaguar receives a score of 828 (on a 1,000-point scale) and performs especially well in the salesperson and working out the deal factors. Jaguar also ranks highest among all brands in the study.
Cadillac(819) and Mercedes-Benz (815) rank second and third,respectively, in the luxury brand segment rankings-the same rank positions each brand held in the 2009 study.
Lincolnimproves the most from 2009 among luxury brands, moving from ranking sixth to ranking fourth in 2010.
The four remaining luxury brands that rank above the luxury segment average (798) are, respectively: Lexus, LandRover, Porsche and BMW.
Among mass-market brands, Mini ranks highest (805) and performs better than all other non-premium brands in three of the four factors measured.Mini is followed by Mercury (795) and GMC (792)in the mass market segment rankings.
Other mass market brands to rank above the mass market segment average (751) are, respectively: Chevrolet,Buick,Ford,Hyundai,Chrysler,Suzukiand Kia.
Hyundai is the most improved mass market brand, moving from 16th place in the 2009 rankings to seventh in 2010. Chrysler also advances in SSI rankings to move from 15th place in 2009 to eighth in 2010.

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