New-Vehicle Buyers in Thailand Are Doing More Preliminary Research Prior to Visiting Dealer Showrooms

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Toyota Ranks Highest in Sales Satisfaction in Thailand for a Second Consecutive Year

BANGKOK: 30 August 2013 New-vehicle buyers in Thailand are increasingly using multiple sources to gather information prior to visiting dealer showrooms and making their purchase decisions, according to the J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2013 Thailand Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) StudySM released today. 

Now in its 14th year, the study examines seven factors that contribute to overall customer satisfaction with their new-vehicle purchase experience (in order of importance): delivery process; salesperson; dealer facility; sales initiation; paperwork; delivery timing; and deal. Sales performance is reported as an index score based on a 1,000-point scale, with a higher score indicating greater satisfaction with the new-vehicle sales and delivery process. 

The study finds that new-vehicle shoppers, on average, are using 3 sources to gather information before they visit a dealership, up from 2.5 sources in 2012. Among information sources shoppers use are television, friends and relatives and the Internet. In particular, Internet usage is rapidly growing, reaching 45 percent among new-vehicle shoppers in 2013, up from 33 percent in 2012. 

A growing proportion (83%) of new-vehicle shoppers has already decided on their desired vehicle prior to visiting the dealership, compared with 2012 (79%). In addition, 79 percent of shoppers do not consider any models other than the one they decided upon before visiting the dealer. 

"New-vehicle buyers in Thailand are becoming more aware and knowledgeable before their purchase, which is necessary as the number of models and options, demand and competition increase," said Loic Pean, senior manager at J.D. Power Asia Pacific, Singapore. "With an increased proportion of first-time buyers, who typically are younger and more educated, we're finding that they do their homework in order to be more comfortable and efficient in their discussions with sales advisors once in the showroom." 

Overall sales satisfaction averages 904 in 2013, a four-point improvement from 2012. Sales satisfaction has improved from 2012 in all factors, with the exception of salesperson and paperwork. Ratings of salespeople on courtesy and friendliness, patienceallowing customer sufficient time before deciding on their vehicleand appropriateness of sales pressures have notably declined.

"Salespeople are starting to put uncomfortable pressure on customers again, reversing a trend observed during the past several years," said Pean. "Likely feeling more confident due to the high demand for new vehicles, sales advisors' attention to their customers is decreasing, and they are perceived as more aggressive in trying to persuade customers to buy immediately, pay more or select a vehicle without the exact options the customer wants." 

The study also finds that adherence to a comprehensive and consistent implementation of 19 sales standards among salespersons has a direct relationship with customers' positive recommendations of the dealership. When shown the list of 19 sales standards and asked to identify which ones the salesperson followed, 83 percent of customers who checked at least 17 of the 19 also say that they "definitely will" recommend their purchase dealer to friends, family or acquaintances. Among customers who checked 10 or fewer standards, only 47 percent indicate the same advocacy for their dealer. 

"Dealer principals and managers should actively monitor the sales experience and follow up with their customers after purchase to make sure they're satisfied with their sales experience," said Pean. "A satisfied customer is a loyal customer, as well as one who will help promote the dealer to others."
Among the nine brands ranked in the study, Toyota ranks highest in sales satisfaction for a second consecutive year, with an SSI score of 915. Toyota also posts the largest year-over-year improvement (+10 points). Toyota performs particularly well in all seven factors. Isuzu and Mazda rank second in a tie at 904 each. 

The 2013 Thailand SSI Study is based on responses from 3,612 new-vehicle owners who purchased their vehicle between August 2012 and March 2013. The study was fielded between February and May 2013.

No advertising or other promotional use can be made of the information in this release without the express prior written consent of J.D. Power.

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 Media email contact:

About J.D. Power

J.D. Power is a global marketing information services company providing performance improvement, social media and customer satisfaction insights and solutions. The company's quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power has offices in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. For more information on car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit J.D. Power is a business unit of McGraw-Hill Financial.

About McGraw Hill Financial

McGraw Hill Financial (NYSE: MHFI), a financial intelligence company, is a leader in credit ratings, benchmarks and analytics for the global capital and commodity markets. Iconic brands include: Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, S&P Capital IQ, S&P Dow Jones Indices, Platts, CRISIL, J.D. Power, McGraw Hill Construction and Aviation Week. The Company has approximately 17,000 employees in 27 countries. Additional information is available at 

Media Relations Contacts:

XingTi Liu; J.D. Power Asia Pacific; 08-Shenton Way, #44-02/03/04; Singapore, 068811; Phone +65 6 733 8980;
John Tews; Troy, Mich.; (248) 680-6218;
No advertising or other promotional use can be made of the information in this release without the express prior written consent of J.D. Power.

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Media Contacts

Troy, Michigan
(248) 680-6218

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