As Customer Expectations Evolve, Needs of 1 in 5 New-Car Buyers Not Being Met, J.D. Power Finds

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Holden and Mazda Rank Highest in a Tie among Mass Market Brands; BMW Highest among Luxury Brands

SYDNEY: 31 Jan. 2019 — Nearly one in five new-vehicle buyers in Australia indicate the sales consultant only partially understands their needs when buying a new vehicle, according to the J.D. Power 2018 Australia Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study,SM released today.

Sales consultants come further under flak from the 17% of customers who were not asked about their preferences when buying a new vehicle. The same proportion of first-time buyers also experienced the same.

“Given the slowdown in sales, it is essential that sales consultants spend the required time with each shopper to identify the best model and variant for their requirements,” said Bruce Chellingworth, Director & Country Manager – Australia at J.D. Power. “Simply ‘pushing metal’ won’t help the dealership gain positive referral, ensure customer loyalty or promote the brand. In an increasingly competitive market, it is imperative that dealers understand and build trust with their customers.”

Following are additional key findings of the 2018 study:

  • Test drives are typically too short: While more than four in five customers chose to take a test drive, half of customers only spend 20 minutes or less in the vehicle, with 19% experiencing only 10 minutes or less on the road. Customers experiencing a test drive lasting 31 minutes or longer (12%) are more satisfied than those who experience 10 minutes or less on the road (821 vs. 807, respectively, on a 1,000-point scale).
  • Sales consultants still pressuring customers to buy: The study finds thatyounger shoppers (39 years old or younger) and first-time new-car buyers experience higher levels of pressure from the dealer to purchase a new vehicle (35% and 24%, respectively).
  • Delivery of a new vehicle not celebrated with the customer: A new car is a major purchase for the vast majority of consumers, but only 56% of customers recall any special ceremony taking place during handover. Providing acknowledgement via a special ceremony not only enhances sales satisfaction scores compared with instances when no ceremony takes place (827 vs. 779, respectively) but also increases the proportion of customers who “definitely will” recommend the selling dealership to friends and family (70% vs. 54%, respectively).

Study Rankings

Among the 11 mass market brands ranked in the study, Holden and Mazda rank highest in a tie with a score of 822. Toyota ranks third with a score of 815, followed by Nissan (804) and Ford (802).

BMW ranks highest in sales satisfaction among luxury brands, with a score of 861. Audi ranks second with a score of 836, while Mercedes-Benz ranks third with a score of 814.

The 2018 Australia Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study measures satisfaction with the sales experience among new-vehicle buyers. Buyer satisfaction is based on six measures: dealer sales consultant; delivery process; dealership facility; working out the deal; paperwork completion; and dealership website.

The study is based on responses from 3,075 buyers who purchased or leased their new vehicle between March 2017 through January 2019. The study is a comprehensive analysis of the new-vehicle purchase experience and measures customer satisfaction with the selling dealer (satisfaction among buyers). The study was fielded from March 2018 through January 2019.

The study now also includes the Net Promoter Score® (NPS),[1] which measures new vehicle owners’ likelihood to recommend their vehicle brand on a 0-10 point-scale.

About J.D. Power in the Asia Pacific Region

J.D. Power is a global leader in consumer insights, advisory services and data and analytics. These capabilities enable J.D. Power to help its clients drive customer satisfaction, growth and profitability. Established in 1968, J.D. Power has offices serving North America, South America, Asia Pacific and Europe.

Media Relations Contacts

Aisling Carty; J.D. Power; Singapore; 65-3165-0119;

Geno Effler; J.D. Power; Costa Mesa, Calif., USA; 001-714-621-6224;

About J.D. Power and Advertising/Promotional Rules

[1] Net Promoter,® Net Promoter System,® Net Promoter Score,® NPS,® and the NPS-related emoticons are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., Fred Reichheld and Satmetrix Systems, Inc.

Media Contacts

Costa Mesa, California
(714) 621-6224

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