Lexus Ranks Highest among Luxury Brands for a Ninth Consecutive Year; Volkswagen Ranks Highest among Mass Market Brands

Tokyo: 19 August 2015 ― While overall customer satisfaction with the sales process improves in Japan, satisfaction with luxury brands drops notably, according to the J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2015 Japan Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) StudySM released today.

The study, now in its 14th year, measures customer satisfaction with the sales process at automotive dealerships based on four factors that contribute to overall satisfaction (in order of importance): salesperson (34%); working out the deal (26%); facility (21%); and delivery (20%). Sales service performance is calculated on a 1,000-point scale.

Overall sales satisfaction has improved by 13 points to 665 points in 2015. However, overall satisfaction with luxury brands averages 708 in 2015, down 10 points from 2014. Satisfaction with mass market brands has improved by 14 points to 663.

“In a market where new-vehicle sales have decreased this past year, overall satisfaction with the sales process has improved due to a rise in satisfaction among mass market brand owners, while new and existing luxury brand customers have become more demanding,” said Taku Kimoto, executive director of the automotive division at J.D. Power Asia Pacific, Tokyo. “Vehicle manufacturers need to consider the total customer experience rather than relying on solely launching new models. Listening to the Voice of Customer and meeting their needs can go a long way toward improving customer satisfaction, recommendations and brand loyalty.”

KEY FINDINGS

  • In the mass market segment, year-over-year satisfaction improves in all factors, most notably in facility, in which satisfaction improves by 18 points.
  • Satisfaction in the luxury segment decreases across all factors, particularly in working out the deal and delivery, down 17 points and 14 points, respectively.
  • Among luxury brands, customer satisfaction when interacting with the salesperson—from negotiation to vehicle delivery—has decreased in 2015, particularly in terms of thoroughness of explanation. Specifically, the decrease in satisfaction is driven by a lower incidence of explanations for vehicle purchase price/option during closing (down 7%), warranty coverage/period (down 4%) and check-up schedule/content (down 5%) during delivery.
  • The 2015 study also examines reasons for customers avoiding different models in the same segment from which they purchased. More than half (51%) of the avoidance reasons cited are product related. In particular these include, “I don’t like the vehicle image” (19%), “poor styling or color” (15%) and “vehicle size did not fit me” (11%).
  • The study finds a correlation between overall satisfaction and the likelihood of customers to recommend their dealer to family and friends. Among satisfied customers (satisfaction scores of 800 points or higher), 85 percent say they “probably will” or “definitely will” recommend their dealer to others. However, advocacy drops to 38 percent among customers with lower levels of satisfaction (scores below 500).

2015 Ranking Highlights

In the luxury segment, Lexus ranks highest with a score of 757 which is 49 points higher than the luxury brand average. Lexus performs particularly well in all four factors, achieving the highest scores among luxury brands in each factor.

In the mass market segment, Volkswagen ranks highest with a score of 695. Volkswagen performs particularly well in three of the four factors, with the exception being working out the deal. Volkswagen is followed by MINI (684), Nissan (679), Mazda (675) and Mitsubishi (667).

The 2015 Japan Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study measures customer satisfaction with the dealer where they purchased their new passenger vehicle. The study is based on responses from 7,072 domestic and import vehicle owners after an average of two to 12 months of ownership. The online survey was fielded from late May to early June 2015.

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 Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. Information regarding J.D. Power Asia Pacific and its products can be accessed through the Internet at japan.jdpower.com.

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Media Relations Contacts
Shizue Hidaka; J.D. Power Asia Pacific;Metro City Kamiyacho 8F; 5-1-5 Toranomon; Minato-ku, Tokyo; Japan 105-0001; Phone +81-3-4550-8060; [email protected]

John Tews; Director, Media Relations; J.D. Power; 320 E. Big Beaver; 5th Floor, Suite 500, Troy, MI, 48083 USA; 001 248-680-6218; [email protected]

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. www.jdpower.com

Media Contacts:

John Tews

Troy, Michigan

(248) 680-6218