SÃO PAULO: 29 May 2018 — After a period of turbulence in the automotive market, the industry is recovering in 2018. The 15% sales growth projection for this year, according to Fenabrave, has made automakers more optimistic. However, the difficulties faced during this time provides numerous opportunities for companies to start looking more closely at the vehicle sales process in order to improve the customer experience. The results of this strategy are reflected in the J.D. Power 2018 Brazil Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study.SM The study finds record satisfaction, compared with previous years, with Toyota resuming its position as the market leader in customer satisfaction.
The 2018 study includes a new segment this year: the inclusion of luxury brands with a specific ranking. J.D. Power do Brasil interviewed purchasers of the highest-selling luxury vehicles in the country. In this first ranking, BMW achieves the highest satisfaction score, followed by Land Rover and Audi in second and third place, respectively.
“This is an all-time record for industry satisfaction. To bypass the drop in sales, the automakers did their homework, as demonstrated by the results of this study. The increase in the industry´s average satisfaction score as well as the record score of the highest-ranked company means customers are more satisfied with services,” said Fabio Braga, Director of Brazil Operations at J.D. Power do Brazil. "There is concern among automakers to improve the customer experience in the automobile purchase process from year to year. We think the inclusion of luxury brands in the study provides a more complete view of the industry in Brazil."
Following are key findings of the 2018 study:
- Better trade-in value is essential: Trading in used vehicles as part of the payment of a new car is a well-known approach in the market. While 87% of buyers in 2018 say they felt the trade-in value was fair, only 13% indicate it was not. Satisfaction among customers who felt they had obtained a fair trade-in value is 818 vs. 691 among those who felt it was not fair.
- Luxury brands excel at the time of vehicle delivery: A majority (87%) of luxury vehicle salespeople helped configure the Bluetooth system in customers' mobile phones, compared with 68% of salespeople of mass market brands. Regarding dealerships that offered to schedule the customer’s first service department visit, 83% of luxury brand salespeople performed this best practice. Furthermore, nearly all (96%) salespeople in this segment reviewed vehicle safety accessories at the time of delivery.
- Test Drive helps maximize satisfaction: Study findings show that the longer the Test Drive, the higher the satisfaction. For example, Test Drive satisfaction among customers who test drove a vehicle for up to 10 minutes is 743. Among those who drove longer than 30 minutes, satisfaction jumps to 871. The type of dealer staff accompanying customers on the test drive is also a noteworthy factor in predicting satisfaction. Although 71% of customers indicate having taken a test drive with a salesperson and only 27% with a Test Drive specialist, the highest satisfaction score is when a specialist accompanies a customer (868), compared to when a salesperson accompanies a customer (810).
- Customers can become real brand promoters: The Net Promoter Score® (NPS) metric, which analyzes loyalty and the likelihood of a customer recommending a specific brand or model, shows that 73% of customers in Brazil are classified as brand promoters. Of these, most are women. Customer satisfaction among promoters is 274 points higher than among detractors.
"The study shows that customers are increasingly connected. For this reason, automakers need to be mindful of the content available on their websites, as well as what's posted on social networks, in the press, in blogs and on forums,” said Sergio Sanchez, Senior Manager of Automotive Practices at J.D. Power do Brasil. “To make people loyal to the brand, it is also necessary to pursue excellence in customer service. According to this year's SSI Study, satisfaction among brand promoters is 848, whereas the average score of the industry is 805.”
The major news this year is Toyota taking back its leadership position in the satisfaction ranking, with a record score of (845). Hyundai-CAOA is in second place (833), followed by Hyundai-HMB (830).
In the new luxury ranking segment, BMW scored the highest (818). Land Rover is in second place (808), followed by Audi (805).
The Brazil Sales Satisfaction Index Study, now in its sixth year, is a comprehensive analysis of the new-vehicle purchase and delivery experience and examines satisfaction in five measures (listed in order of importance): delivery process (24%); working out the deal (21%); test drive (21%); dealership facilities (18%); and salesperson (17%).
The study is based on the survey responses of 4,387 new-vehicle owners in Brazil within 1 to 12 months of the purchase. The study was conducted from February through May 2018.
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 is headquartered in Costa Mesa, Calif., and has offices serving North/South America, Asia Pacific and Europe. J.D. Power is a portfolio company of XIO Group, a global alternative investments and private equity firm headquartered in London, and is led by its four founders: Athene Li, Joseph Pacini, Murphy Qiao and Carsten Geyer.
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