Trust and Relationships Translate into Light-Duty Truck Sales

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Toyota Ranks Highest in Owner Satisfaction with Commercial Light-Duty Trucks for a Fourth Consecutive Year

TOKYO: 21 February 2014 — Dealer relationships and trust of salespersons are the top reasons commercial fleet owners purchase a particular light-duty truck, according to the J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2013 Japan Light-Duty Truck Ownership Satisfaction StudySM released today.

Light-duty truck owners most frequently cite trusted salesperson from dealer (37%) and relationship with dealer (36%) as their reasons for purchasing a particular brand--more frequently than price (31%).

"Having completed compliance with the Post New Long-Term Regulations of diesel emissions among truck makers, brand differentiation by product offering is getting much tougher than the past," said Taku Kimoto, executive director of the automobile division at J.D. Power Asia Pacific, Tokyo. "A key challenge manufacturers face is achieving differentiation in the areas of sales and service. While fleet owners regard trust of the salesperson is most important, dealers need to build strong relationships with owners by providing them with excellent customer service."

The study, now in its eighth year, measures overall satisfaction with light-duty truck manufacturers and their authorized dealers among commercial fleet owners, including managers of truck freight companies. Satisfaction is determined by examining four key factors (in order of importance): service (51%), sales (25%), vehicle (13%) and cost (11%). Overall satisfaction scores are calculated based on owner evaluations of 62 attributes. In the 2013 study, overall satisfaction averages 630 (on a 1,000-point scale).

Rankings

Among the five brands included in the study this year, Toyota ranks highest for the fourth year in a row (tied last year with Hino) with an overall satisfaction score of 643 points. Toyota performs particularly well in the vehicle factor and also performs well in the service, sales and cost factors. Following Toyota in the rankings are Hino (641) and UD Trucks (639). 

KEY FINDINGS

  • Overall satisfaction has declined by 1 point year over year to 630.
  • Nearly half (49%) of owners who purchased a new light-duty truck (vehicles registered in 2013) cite trusted salesperson from dealer as the reason for vehicle selection, up from 43 percent in 2011. 
  • Satisfaction is higher among owners who choose their truck because they trust the salesperson than among those who choose their truck for other reasons, such as price (669 vs. 608).
  • Among owners who indicate that their sales representative visits their business at least once a month, 47 percent cite trusted salesperson from dealer as the reason they purchased their truck.
  • The study finds that 49 percent of owners take their vehicles to the dealer themselves for after-sales service, while 43 percent of owners have their vehicles picked up for service. Overall satisfaction among owners who have their vehicles picked up is 648, which is 18 points above industry average. 
  • Overall satisfaction among single-make operators, who comprise 27 percent of the market, averages 641 points, compared with 626 among fleet operators who own multiple brands of vehicles. 
The 2013 Japan Light-Duty Truck Ownership Satisfaction Study is based on 3,456 responses from 2,277 fleet operators, each of whom evaluated up to two manufacturers. The study was fielded between November and December 2013.

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

About McGraw Hill Financial

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

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