Rising fuel costs are changing the purchase behavior of new-vehicle buyers in Mexico, especially among Gen Y customers, according to the J.D. Power 2018 Mexico Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study,SM released today. Among Gen Y customers, fuel efficiency is the second-most important reason for purchasing a specific make and model, preceded by attractive styling. Among all generations of new-vehicle buyers, fuel efficiency is the No. 1 most influential purchase reason this year, moving up from No. 4 last year.
“While older customers put more emphasis on their previous experience with a brand when choosing a vehicle to purchase, younger customers don’t have as much prior experience to rely on, so they focus on other aspects of the vehicle,” said Gerardo Gomez, Senior Director and Country Manager at J.D. Power de Mexico. “Dealers looking to attract a younger segment of buyers need to emphasize such vehicle characteristics as fuel efficiency and styling when dealing with them. Much like in the United States, consumer preferences have shifted away from cars and toward SUVs, but the increased cost of fuel may slow the demand of SUVs and other large vehicles.”
A new metric, Net Promoter Score® (NPS), which measures customer loyalty and predicts business growth, is included in the 2018 Mexico SSI Study to further show the role sales satisfaction plays in whether a customer will recommend a brand or tell others to avoid it. The study survey asks customers about their likelihood to recommend both their vehicle make and model on a 0-10 scale. Based on their responses, customers are grouped into either the detractor (0-6), passive (7-8) or promoter (9-10) group. Satisfaction among customers who are promoters of their vehicle model is 172 points higher (on a 1,000-point scale) than among those who are detractors, which demonstrates that, to create brand promoters, dealers must provide an excellent sales experience.
Following are some of the study’s key findings:
- The salesperson is a key factor in high satisfaction: Among the five measures examined in the study, salesperson earns the highest satisfaction score (873) among new-vehicle buyers. The two highest-rated attributes in the measure are courtesy and attentiveness.
- Useful content while shopping online matters: Automotive internet shoppers citing an automotive manufacturer or dealer site as the most useful type of site they visited say that photo galleries, vehicle pricing and model information were the most useful content. These findings are consistent with shoppers in the United States where, according to the 2017 New Autoshopper StudySM, model information is the most useful content when shopping for a new vehicle on the internet, followed by vehicle pricing and photo galleries. This is true of shopping content on all auto shopping sites, not just OEM and dealer sites. In fact, 46% of automotive internet shoppers in Mexico visited the manufacturer website of the brand they eventually bought.
GMC ranks highest among luxury brands, with a score of 889. Mercedes-Benz ranks second (879), followed by Audi (875).
Mazda ranks highest among mass market brands, with a score of 894. Kia ranks second (883), followed by Hyundai (866).
The study, now in its fifth year, is a comprehensive analysis of the new-vehicle purchase and delivery experience, and examines customer satisfaction with the selling dealer across five measures (listed in order of importance): vehicle delivery (26%); working out the deal (24%); salesperson (19%); dealership facility (18%); and test drive (14%). Overall satisfaction is calculated on a 1,000-point scale.
The 2018 Mexico Sales Satisfaction Index Study is based on the evaluations of 3,303 new-vehicle owners in Mexico after one to 12 months of ownership. The study was fielded from September 2017 through March 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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 J.D. Power defines the generations as Pre-Boomers (born before 1946); Boomers (1946-1964); Gen X (1965-1976); and Gen Y (1977-1994).
 Net Promoter,® Net Promoter System,® Net Promoter Score,® NPS,® and the NPS-related emoticons are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., Fred Reichheld and Satmetrix Systems, Inc.