Automakers Struggle to Please Young, Affluent Consumers in Taiwan, J.D. Power Study Finds

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Lexus and Mercedes-Benz Rank Highest in a Tie in Customer Satisfaction With Vehicle Service among Luxury Brands in Taiwan

SINGAPORE: 21 Oct. 2016 — The percentage of young luxury-vehicle owners in Taiwan is increasing rapidly, creating challenges for the automotive servicing industry, according to the J.D. Power 2016 Taiwan Customer Service Index (CSI) StudySM luxury market segment, released today.

The proportion of luxury car owners under the age of 40 has grown in the past five years to 36% in 2016 from 25% in 2012. Yet, satisfaction with dealer service is significantly lower among young, affluent owners than among their older counterparts (834 vs. 850, respectively, on a 1,000-point scale). Furthermore, only 27% of owners under 40 say that their last service experience was “better than expected,” compared with 41% of owners 40 and older who say the same.

“The younger generation is used to a life defined by speed and efficiency and, therefore, is extremely intolerant of errors or delays,” said Kaustav Roy, director at J.D. Power. “Further intensifying a dealership’s difficulties in pleasing younger customers is their vociferous online research for other owners’ reviews and experiences, which heightens their expectations for their own vehicle-servicing experience.”

Satisfying this younger generation of luxury buyers is critical because satisfied customers are more loyal than dis-satisfied customers. Among customers who are highly satisfied with their dealer service (overall service satisfaction scores of 912 or higher), 54% say they “definitely would” revisit the same dealership for post-warranty service, compared with only 20% of those who are highly dissatisfied (scores of 783 or lower).

The study finds that there are three major areas in which the differences in satisfaction between the two generational groups of customers are markedly divergent, even though the service treatment is the same: waited 3 days or more for an appointment (824 for under 40 vs. 847 for 40 and older); took 3 hours or more to service vehicle (803 vs. 824); and vehicle returned not cleaner (795 vs. 832). Lower satisfaction despite the same service highlights different expectations of younger customers.

The study also finds that the 31% owners who chose the service dealer because they bought their vehicle there are likely to be less satisfied, compared with those who chose their dealer based on reliability of service (834 vs. 858, respectively). Additionally, the proportion of customers who say they “definitely would” revisit the service dealer for post-warranty service has decreased to 38% in 2016 from 51% in 2015.

“One service dealer’s loss is another service dealer’s gain,” said Aaron Lee, country manager at J.D. Power. “The fact that quality of service makes such a great impact on satisfaction levels suggests that a dealer that may have lost the sale can regain it with great after-sales service.” 

Now in its 19th year, the study measures new-vehicle owner satisfaction with the after-sales service process by examining dealership performance in five factors (listed in order of importance): service quality; service initiation; vehicle pick-up; service advisor; and service facility. The study examines service satisfaction in the luxury market segment. Satisfaction is calculated on a 1,000-point scale.

Following are additional key findings of the study:

  • Time Taken for Servicing Increases: The average servicing time has increased to 2.6 hours in 2016 from 2.2 hours in 2015. Four in 10 customers indicate waiting 3 hours or more for their service to be completed, up from 27% in 2015. 
  • Customers Who Stay At the Dealership Are Happier: The study finds that 35% of luxury-vehicle owners leave the dealership and return later while their vehicle is being serviced, an increase from 23% in 2015. Overall satisfaction among customers who leave and return the dealership is 800, compared with 867 among those who remain at the dealership for the duration of the service visit. Among customers who leave the dealership, 71% indicate that the dealership doesn’t provide transportation, eroding satisfaction to 783.
  • Cost of Overall Ownership Decreases: The cost of ownership averages NT$5.5 per km in 2016, a 7% decrease from 2015. The drop in overall ownership costs is due largely to an 8% reduction in the monthly fuel expenditure. 

Study Rankings

Overall customer service satisfaction in the luxury segment averages 844. Lexus and Mercedes-Benz rank highest in a tie in service satisfaction, each with a score of 856. Lexus performs particularly well in service initiation and service facility, while Mercedes-Benz performs particularly well in service advisor, vehicle pick-up and service quality. 

The 2016 Taiwan Customer Service Index Study is based on responses from 773 vehicle owners in the luxury segment who received delivery of their new vehicle between March 2014 and June 2015 and took their vehicle for service to an authorized dealer or service centre between September 2015 and June 2016. The study was fielded from March through June 2016.

Media Relations Contacts

XingTi Liu; J.D. Power; Singapore, 068811; 65-67338980; xingti_liu@jdpower.com.sg

John Tews; J.D. Power; Troy, Mich. 48083, USA; 001-248-680-6218; media.relations@jdpa.com

About J.D. Power in the Asia Pacific Region 

J.D. Power has offices in Tokyo, Singapore, Beijing, Shanghai, Malaysia and Bangkok that conduct customer satisfaction research and provide consulting services in the automotive, information technology and finance industries in the Asia Pacific region. Together, the six 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 and its products can be accessed through the internet at asean-oceania.jdpower.com.

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