Quality and Brand Reputation Perception Drive Luxury Model Selection in Taiwan

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Lexus Ranks Highest in New-Vehicle Sales Satisfaction among Luxury Brands in Taiwan

SINGAPORE: 14 August 2014 — Positive perceptions of vehicle quality and brand reputation are among the top reasons customers in Taiwan select a new luxury vehicle, according to the J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2014 Taiwan Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) StudySM luxury segment, released today.

The study, which for the first time measures sales satisfaction separately in two vehicle segments—luxury and mass market—examines seven factors that contribute to new-vehicle buyers’ overall satisfaction with their sales experience (listed in order of importance): delivery process; salesperson; delivery timing; sales initiation; deal; paperwork; and dealer facility. Study findings for the mass market segment were announced in late July.

As more entry level luxury cars are being introduced in the Taiwan market, the price gap between luxury and mass market cars has narrowed. During the past five years, the transaction price of the luxury vehicles in Taiwan has decreased by 15 percent, while the price of mass market brands during the same period has increased by 10 percent.

The study also finds that luxury model selections are dependent on positive perceptions about the brand’s reputation and quality. However, the main factor to reject a particular model in this segment is based largely on vehicle performance capabilities, such as acceleration and engine power.

“The change in price gap has given rise to the affordability of luxury models, thereby propelling growth,” said Rajeev Nair, director at J.D. Power Asia Pacific, Singapore.  “While the introduction of entry level luxury models is a prudent decision, auto manufacturers must also keep in mind customer expectations on the vehicle’s performance capabilities.”

SSI performance is reflected in an index score based on a 1,000-point scale, in which a higher overall SSI score indicates greater satisfaction with the new-vehicle sales and delivery process. Overall sales satisfaction in the luxury segment averages 893 points in 2014.

2014 Taiwan SSI Luxury Brands Rankings

Lexus ranks highest in the luxury segment with a score of 897 and performs well in the delivery process, deal and sales initiation factors.

Mercedes-Benz ranks second with a score of 896, performing well in sales initiation, dealer facility, delivery timing and delivery process. BMW ranks third with a score of 895, performing well in the salesperson and paperwork factors.

KEY FINDINGS LUXURY SEGMENT

  • Customers purchasing a vehicle in the luxury segment expect their dealership to meet at least 17 sales standards (e.g., salesperson spent enough time at delivery; questions answered at delivery) in order to deliver an overall satisfying sales experience. This is in contrast to the mass market segment, where meeting at least 16 sales standards can positively impact overall satisfaction.
  • Customers expect to complete their purchase transaction in fewer than seven days. When more time is required to complete the transaction, paperwork satisfaction declines by 11 points. Satisfaction in the deal factor is also impacted when the sales transaction takes seven days or more, declining by 27 points, compared with luxury average.
  • Deal is the lowest-performing factor. Although the percentage of customers receiving discounts has increased, the median amount of discount received has decreased by 13 percent, resulting in lower satisfaction in the deal factor.
  • Customers expect the delivery time of their car to be within seven days of purchase. When a dealership delivers a car within this time frame, delivery timing satisfaction increases by 33 points. The average time for vehicle delivery is 21 days.
  • The study finds a close correlation between satisfaction with the new-vehicle purchase and delivery experience and customer loyalty and advocacy regarding their dealer and brand. Among highly satisfied customers (SSI scores of 955 or higher), 68 percent say they “definitely will” recommend their purchase dealer to friends and relatives. That percentage declines to 27 percent among highly dissatisfied customers (SSI scores of 851 or lower).

“Word-of-mouth recommendations are the most commonly sought-after source of information, with 72 percent of customers in Taiwan seeking the opinions of friends and relatives when deciding which vehicle make and model to buy,” said Nair. “Customers who are highly satisfied with their purchase experience can be loyal advocates for both the dealer and the brand, and can contribute to increased customer traffic at dealerships.”

About the Study

The 2014 Taiwan SSI Study is based on responses from 512 new-vehicle owners in the luxury segment who purchased their vehicle between July 2013 and February 2014. The study was fielded from January through April 2014 and measures new-vehicle owner satisfaction with the sales and delivery experience from authorized dealers in Taiwan.

Media Relations Contacts

Michelle Meng; Beijing, China; +86 01 6569 2702; yutian.meng@jdpa.com

John Tews; J.D. Power; Troy, Michigan 48083 USA; 001-248-680-6218; john.tews@jdpa.com

About J.D. Power Asia Pacific

J.D. Power Asia Pacific has offices in Tokyo, Singapore, Beijing, Shanghai and Bangkok that conduct customer satisfaction research and provide consulting services in the automotive, information technology and finance industries. Together, the five offices bring the language of customer satisfaction to consumers and businesses in Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. Information regarding J.D. Power Asia Pacific and its products can be accessed through the Internet at japan.jdpower.com.

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Media Contacts

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(248) 680-6218

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