SINGAPORE: 17 Oct. 2018 — An increasing number of vehicle buyers are relying on online sources, such as manufacturers’/ third-party websites and dealers’ social media pages, in order to gather information on vehicle specifications and dealership offers, according to the J.D. Power 2018 Malaysia Sales Satisfaction Index (Mass Market) Study,SM released today.
The study finds that 59% of buyers primarily research online for information such as the price of the vehicle and its features and specifications. These buyers are also more likely to contact the dealership prior to visiting it to cross-check the online information than those who did not research online (78% vs. 59%, respectively). Additionally, more than twice the number of buyers who used the internet also compared prices from different dealerships, compared with those who did not research online (57% vs. 26%, respectively).
“Car buyers in Malaysia, especially younger buyers, are increasingly concerned about the cost of owning a vehicle and are turning to online channels to aid in their research on the best available deals,” said Muhammad Asyraf Bin Mustafar, Country Head of Malaysia at J.D. Power. “Brands that can offer a competitive pricing model through flexible financing options, better fuel economy, customized maintenance packages and higher residual values are likely to attract more customers. Similarly, it is important that brands can match their product offerings with their customers’ purchase reasons.”
At the mass market level, financial considerations are cited as the most influential reasons for purchasing a vehicle (46%), with these considerations affecting the purchase decision of buyers who are 29 years and younger more than those who are 45 years and older (57% vs. 35%, respectively). Furthermore, younger buyers are less style-driven than older buyers (14% vs. 25%, respectively) when purchasing their vehicle.
The following are additional key findings of the study:
- Engaging buyers with digital devices improves satisfaction: Satisfaction is higher among buyers who experienced sales consultants using digital devices (71%)—such as tablets, smartphones and touchscreen monitors/ kiosks—than among those who did not experience the same (796 vs. 753, respectively, on a 1,000-point scale).
- Thorough explanation of vehicle features enhances the customer experience: Buyers expect a thorough explanation of features such as Bluetooth, navigation and communication systems when the vehicle is delivered and are more satisfied when dealership staff do so, compared with those who do not receive such explanations (812 vs. 764, respectively). Additionally, 48% of buyers indicate they received follow-up explanations of features, with satisfaction higher among these buyers than among those who did not receive the same (809 vs. 761, respectively).
- Closing the deal: Overall satisfaction is higher when the sales consultant has the autonomy to agree to the terms of the deal, compared to when the consultant requires permission from their supervisor (793 vs. 774, respectively).
Nissan ranks highest in sales satisfaction with a score of 812. Isuzu ranks second with 797, and Honda ranks third with 795.
The 2018 Malaysia Sales Satisfaction Index (Mass Market) Study is a comprehensive analysis of the new-vehicle purchase and delivery experience. The study is based on responses from 2,477 new-vehicle owners who purchased their vehicle between September 2017 and May 2018 and was fielded between Mar and August 2018.
Now in its 16th year, the study has been entirely redesigned and now 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 dealer sales consultant (26%); dealership facility (25%); delivery process (19%); working out the deal (14%); paperwork completion (14%); and dealership website (2%).
The study now also includes the Net Promoter Score® (NPS), which measures buyers’ likelihood to recommend their vehicle make on a 0-10 scale.
About J.D. Power in the Asia Pacific Region
J.D. Power has offices in Singapore, Bangkok, Beijing, Shanghai and Tokyo 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, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, the U.A.E. and Vietnam. 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. Information regarding J.D. Power and its products can be accessed through the internet at asean-oceania.jdpower.com.
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 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.