BANGKOK: 30 August 2012 — At the same time that domestic demand for new vehicles are soaring and expected to exceed 1 million units in annual sales before the end of 2012, customers are paying greater attention to commitments dealers make regarding actual delivery time, according to the J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2012 Thailand Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) StudySM released today.
Now in its 13th year, the study examines seven factors that contribute to overall customer satisfaction with the new-vehicle purchase experience (in order of importance): delivery process; salesperson; dealer facility; sales initiation; paperwork; delivery timing; and deal. SSI performance is reported as 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 averages 900 in 2012--the highest score in the study's history--and represents an improvement of seven points from 2011.
The study finds that delivery time has notably increased, compared with the 2011 study, as 51 percent of customers report taking delivery of their vehicle more than two weeks after booking--an 18 percentage-point year-over-year increase. Moreover, the proportion of customers who say the dealer failed to keep their commitment for the promised delivery date has more than doubled--to 7 percent in 2012 from 3 percent in 2011.
"In the context of rapid recovery after a period of stagnation and low consumer confidence in 2011, coupled with many exciting new-model launches in the past few months, new-vehicle buyers are impatient to get behind the wheel of their new vehicle," said Loic Pean, senior manager at J.D. Power Asia Pacific, Singapore "Many customers, particularly those in the eco-car and entry midsize segments, are currently willing to pay the sticker price and skip negotiation if the dealer can deliver their vehicle quickly."
New-vehicle buyers indicate that the two reasons that most influenced them in their dealer selection are proximity (i.e., closest dealer selling the desired brand) and immediate delivery (51% and 12%, respectively). In contrast, in 2011, the top two reasons cited were dealer proximity (28%) and best deal (26%).
Sales satisfaction has improved from 2011 in all factors except delivery timing. In 2012, four makes achieve scores of 900 or above. Among the eight brands included in the study, Toyota ranks highest in sales satisfaction with a score of 905, performing well in the sales initiation, dealer facility and deal factors. Chevrolet (903) has improved by 18 points from 2011 to rank second, due to particularly strong performances in the paperwork, delivery timing and delivery process factors. Honda and Nissan, in a tie (900 each), closely follow in the overall rankings. Nissan achieves the highest year-over-year increase (+25 points).
While the implementation of sales standards have remained stable overall across the industry, more customers--most notably passenger car buyers--would have preferred that the sales advisor spent more time with them at delivery. Overall satisfaction is higher among customers who say the sales advisor spent at least 60 minutes with them at delivery, compared with below-average satisfaction among customers who say the time spent was less than 60 minutes. Just 24 percent of new-vehicle buyers say the sales advisor spent 60 minutes or more at delivery, compared with 29 percent of who say the sales advisor spent less than 30 minutes at delivery.
"Spending time with customers at delivery is vital for dealers to demonstrate their gratitude for the purchase and how much they care about their customers, especially if it took longer to deliver the vehicle than expected," said Pean. "Indeed, spending that extra time is important not only to answer customers' queries, but also to introduce the service personnel and the maintenance process, and above all make it a memorable moment and the start of a strong relationship with the customer."
The study also finds that high levels of customer satisfaction are closely related to the proportion of customers who would recommend their purchase dealer. Among customers who say they are "delighted" with the sales experience (providing a rating of 10 on a 10-point scale), 61 percent say they "definitely would" recommend their purchase dealer, while only 5 percent of those who are "disappointed" (ratings of five points or lower) say the same.
The 2012 Thailand SSI Study is based on responses from 2,754 new-vehicle owners who purchased their vehicle between August 2011 and March 2012. The study was fielded between February and May 2012.
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 China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan and Thailand. Information regarding J.D. Power Asia Pacific and its products can be accessed through the Internet at www.jdpower.com. Media e-mail contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
About J.D. Power and Associates
Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company operating in key business sectors including market research, forecasting, performance improvement, Web intelligence and customer satisfaction. The company's quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. For more information on car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit JDPower.com. J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.
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