New Model Introductions Lift Satisfaction in Sluggish Malaysian Auto Market, J.D. Power Finds

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Mitsubishi Ranks Highest in Sales Satisfaction in Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: 7 Oct. 2016 — Customer satisfaction with the new-vehicle shopping process is increasing in Malaysia, providing a positive counterpoint in an auto industry weakened by a sluggish economy, vehicle price hikes and GST implementation, according to the J.D. Power 2016 Malaysia Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study,SM released today.

Facing declining sales volume, the automotive industry has been focused on driving improvements in the sales experience in an effort to woo customers who are currently hesitant to make big-ticket purchases. The overall sales satisfaction score of 789 (on a 1,000-point scale) in 2016 is a significant improvement of 37 points from last year.

Newly launched models—those launched from August 2015 to May 2016—contribute to the rise in satisfaction compared with existing models (804 vs. 787, respectively). Additionally, new-model buyers have a more satisfying shopping experience, as the incidence of salespeople offering a test drive (73%), demonstrating features  during test drives (54%) and contacting  customers to ensure everything was satisfactory (66%) are higher, compared with existing-model buyers.

“The excitement that surrounds a new model launch has the ability to draw customers into the showrooms,” said Mohit Arora, regional vice president at J.D. Power. “Car dealers that fully capitalize on their customers’ heightened interest with an energizing shopping experience can gain from highly satisfied customers who are more likely to repurchase and recommend.”

The study finds fewer incidences of problems experienced by customers during the shopping process. Nine in 10 (92%) customers indicate having a problem-free experience, an 11 percentage point improvement from last year. Furthermore, salespeople are more focused on providing comprehensive explanations on features and benefits (94%) and thorough explanations during delivery (95%).

“The tremendous effort in providing customers with an issue-free sales experience will pay off on building long-term customer relationships,” said Rajaswaran Tharmalingam, country head of Malaysia at J.D. Power. “When the market picks up, their efforts will be rewarded with an increase in sales volume and customer loyalty.”

Now in its 14th year, the study examines sales satisfaction in the mass market segment across six factors that contribute to overall customer satisfaction with the new-vehicle purchase experience (in order of importance): salesperson (19%); dealer facility (19%); delivery timing (17%); deal (16%); delivery process (16%); and sales initiation (13%). Sales satisfaction is calculated on a 1,000-point scale.

Following are additional findings of the 2016 study:

  • Narrowing Gap between Domestic and International Brands: Overall satisfaction with domestic brands has increased to 783 in 2016 from 736 in 2015, closing the gap with international brands to 11 points this year from 34 points last year.
  • Average Delivery Times Shorten: The average delivery time is 17.0 days, which is faster than the 21.8 days in 2015.  When a car is delivered within 14 days, overall satisfaction is higher than it is among those whose delivery time is 15 or more days (802 vs. 772, respectively).
  • Satisfaction Increases Loyalty and Advocacy: Among highly satisfied customers (SSI scores of 864 and above), 46% say they “definitely would” recommend the brand to family and friends. In contrast, among customers who are highly dissatisfied (SSI scores of 713 and below), only 20% say they “definitely would” recommend the brand to others.

Study Rankings

Among the seven brands ranked in the study, Mitsubishi ranks highest in new-vehicle sales satisfaction with a score of 815. Mitsubishi performs particularly well in sales initiation, dealer facility, salesperson, delivery timing and delivery process. Mazda rankssecond (808) and performs particularly well in the deal factor. Nissan and Toyota tie for third at 792.

The 2016 Malaysia Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study is based on responses from 2,010 new-vehicle owners who purchased their vehicles from August 2015 through May 2016. The study was fielded from February through July 2016.

Media Relations Contacts

Xingti Liu; J.D. Power; Singapore; 65-6733 8980; xingti.liu@jdpower.com.sg

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

About J.D. Power and Advertising/Promotional Rules www.jdpower.com/about-us/press-release-info

Media Contacts

Singapore (Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan, India, Malaysia, Vietnam and Philippines)
+65 65976151
Troy, Michigan
(248) 680-6218

J.D. Power Ratings

For additional J.D. Power ratings data, please visit www.jdpower.com/cars and www.jdpower.com/ratings.