KUALA LUMPUR: 30 OCTOBER 2015 — The percentage of consumers in Malaysia who are purchasing their household’s first vehicle is increasing dramatically, creating new challenges and opportunities for dealer salespeople, according to the J.D. Power 2015 Malaysia Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) StudySM released today.
The study, now in its 13th year, has been redesigned in 2015 and examines six factors that contribute to overall customer satisfaction with their new-vehicle purchase experience in the mass market segment. In order of importance, those factors are salesperson (19%); dealer facility (19%); delivery timing (17%); deal (16%); delivery process (16%); and sales initiation (13%). Dealership service performance is based on a 1,000-point scale. The study examines service satisfaction in the mass market segment.
Overall sales satisfaction in the mass market segment averages 752 index points in 2015.
The study finds that 40 percent of new-vehicle buyers in 2015 acquired their household’s first new vehicle, a 15 percentage point increase from 2014. Overall satisfaction among these first-time buyers averages 766, compared with 740 among replacement-vehicle buyers.
The most common sources of information used among both first-time and replacement-vehicle buyers during the purchase decision process are friends/ relatives; owner of same make; and websites. Those who purchase their household’s first vehicle also cite auto shows (48%) and price guides (31%) as information sources, while replacement-vehicle buyers cite ads/ articles in newspapers/ magazines (36%) and dealer owner/ salesperson recommendations (34%).
Similarly, vehicle buyers cite the following common purchasing reasons: attractive design and styling; good fuel efficiency; and low purchase price/ attractive deal. Those who purchase their household’s first vehicle also consider good reputation of the brand (43%) and vehicle performance (42%), while replacement-vehicle buyers also consider roominess/ interior space/ comfort (45%) and good vehicle quality/ reliability (43%).
“Consumers who are buying their first vehicle have different requirements and expectations during the shopping experience than those who have purchased a new vehicle before, and that creates challenges for dealer salespeople,” said Rajaswaran Tharmalingam, country head, Malaysia, J.D. Power. “But it also creates great opportunities, as making a shopper’s first sales experience a positive and rewarding one can also build long-term customer loyalty and advocacy.”
Tharmalingam noted that while automakers have established sales processes and operating standards for their dealerships, ongoing training for salespeople is also critical. “The sales approach that works for someone who has purchased several new vehicles in the past doesn’t necessarily work for someone who has never purchased a vehicle before,” said Tharmalingam. “It is important that salespeople are trained to understand the distinct shopping behaviors of the two buyer segments so they can deliver a meaningful sales experience.”
- Overall satisfaction for Malaysian national brands in the mass market segment averages 736 in 2015. Overall satisfaction with non-national brands averages 770.
- The study identifies 22 sales standards that enhance the overall sales satisfaction experience. Customers expect a minimum of 18 of those 22 standards to be met in order to have a positive service experience. When 17 or fewer sales standards are met, satisfaction drops to 693, compared with 825 when all 22 sales standards are met.
- Among highly satisfied customers (overall SSI scores of 842 or higher), 60 percent say they “definitely would” recommend their purchase dealer to family and friends, compared with only 11 percent of highly dissatisfied customers (scores of 670 or lower).
2015 Malaysia SSI Study Rankings
Toyota ranks highest in overall sales satisfaction among mass market brands for a third consecutive year, with a score of 791. Toyota performs particularly well in all factors except sales initiation. Mitsubishi ranks second at 787, while Honda ranks third at 758.
The 2015 Malaysia Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study is based on responses from 2,371 new-vehicle owners in the mass market segment who purchased their vehicle between August 2014 and May 2015. The study was fielded from February through July 2015.
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About J.D. Power in the Asia Pacific Region
J.D. Power 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 in the Asia Pacific region. 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 and its products can be accessed through the Internet at asean-oceania.jdpower.com.
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 Due to the study redesign, the 2015 index scores are not directly comparable with 2014.