Delivering an Excellent Customer Experience Is Critical as Dealers Fight for Sales

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SÃO PAULO: 1 June 2015 — Toyota ranks highest among automotive manufacturers in Brazil in sales satisfaction for a second consecutive year, according to the J.D. Power 2015 Brazil Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) StudySM released today.  

The study, now in its third year, is a comprehensive analysis of the new-vehicle purchase experience and explores customer satisfaction with the selling dealer by examining five measures (listed in order of importance): working out the deal (29%); delivery process (22%); test drive (18%); salesperson (16%); and dealership facility (16%).

Toyota scores 789 (on a 1,000-point scale) and performs particularly well in four out of the five purchase measures, including working out the deal; delivery process; salesperson; and dealership facility. Hyundai-HMB ranks second at 786 and performs well in all five measures. Hyundai-CAOA ranks third at 774 and performs well in test drive. Overall sales satisfaction averages 763 in 2015, an improvement from 754 in 2014.

“The difference in satisfaction scores between the highest- and lowest-ranked brands in this year’s SSI is only 46 index points. This suggests that despite renewed efforts by many brands, none are truly distinguishing themselves from the pack in terms of the customer purchase experience,” said Jon Sederstrom, country manager, J.D. Power do Brasil. “It also presents an opportunity for a brand that is able to consistently exceed customer expectations. During market conditions as difficult as we are currently experiencing, automakers and dealers must demonstrate they understand the value of each and every shopper.”

New-vehicle sales in Brazil dropped 7.1 percent to 3.5 million units in 2014, and sales in the first four months of 2015 were down 18.4 percent compared with a year ago.[1] Economic conditions and lower new-vehicle sales have created dire financial hardships for some dealerships, as approximately 250 closed their business between January and April.2

Dealer Treatment—Test Drive and Delivery—Key to Dealer Success

Although “offering the best deal/lowest price” is the most frequently cited reason for selecting a dealer, “dealer treated me well” is the second-most influential reason—cited by about one in six new-vehicle buyers.

The study finds that offering and delivering a thorough test drive is critical. Sales satisfaction among new-vehicle buyers who take a test drive averages 783, but drops to to 669 when customers do not take a test drive because a vehicle is not available and 616 when they do not take a test drive because a salesperson or test drive specialist is not available.     

A test drive not only improves sales satisfaction, it also increases customer loyalty. Among customers who indicate that the test drive they took was thorough enough to understand the vehicle, 42 percent say they “definitely will” purchase the same brand of vehicle again and 43 percent say they “definitely will” purchase from the same dealer.

In addition to a test drive, dealer actions taken during the vehicle delivery process not only impact overall sales satisfaction, but also have a direct benefit for the dealer. Among customers indicating the dealer spent enough time with them at delivery, 49 percent say they “definitely will” return to the dealer for paid service, compared with only 33 percent of those indicating the dealer did not spend enough time at delivery. 

“Dealers are focused on getting sales, which is expected in a tight market, but they also need to realize that the delivery process is critical to the customer and can have a positive or negative impact on their service business,” said Sergio Sanchez, research manager at J.D. Power do Brasil.

KEY FINDINGS

  • Customers who choose a dealer based on reputation or recommendations are more likely to purchase from that dealership than if they initially shopped at the dealership due to location or advertising. Customers most often visit the dealership they buy from due to its reputation (37%) and recommendations from family, friends or colleagues (32%). Customers most often leave without buying from a dealership they selected due to its location (44%) and radio or TV advertising (32%).
  • Customers age 30 and younger—often first-time new-vehicle buyers—indicate the most influential reasons for selecting the vehicle they purchased are interior comfort (10%); reliability/durability (8%); low price or payment (8%); and technology of the vehicle (8%). Customers age 55 and older indicate their previous experience with the brand (21%) most influenced their purchase decision.
  • Dealer treatment, such as dealer staff applied too much sales pressure, dealer staff was rude and dealer was not completely honest collectively account for 16 percent of the reasons cited by customers for rejecting a dealer.

The 2015 Brazil Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) StudySM is based on the evaluations of more than 3,000 online interviews with Brazilian new-vehicle owners during the first nine months after purchase. The study was fielded in March and April 2015.

About J.D. Power do Brasil

Established in São Paulo in 2010, J.D. Power do Brasil conducts customer satisfaction research and provides market intelligence and consulting services for the automotive industry—manufacturers and dealers. Information regarding J.D. Power do Brasil and its products can be accessed through the Internet at http://brasil.jdpower.com.

Media Relations Contacts

Renata Cerolini; Gaspar & Associados; São Paulo, Brazil; (11) 3037-3231; [email protected]

Marcela Villa; Gaspar & Associados; São Paulo, Brazil; (11) 3037-3214; [email protected]

John Tews, J.D. Power, Troy, Michigan, 248-680-6218; [email protected]

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

About McGraw Hill Financial www.mhfi.com 



[1] Source: Fenabrave.

2 Source: Fenabrave.

Media Contacts:

John Tews

Troy, Michigan

(248) 680-6218