The latest JD Power and Associates South Africa Sales Satisfaction Index Study reveals that the biggest frustration for South African buyers is the small selection of vehicles available at dealerships.
Unlike the JD Power IQS study featured in the February issue of CAR this particular study is not about the ownership experience, but rather about the new-vehicle purchasing experience. It measures satisfaction in 32 attributes grouped into fives factors – dealership facility, salesperson, paperwork/finance process, delivery process, and negotiated price.
The results show that the small selection of models available accounts for nearly one-third of the sales-related dealership frustrations reported by new-vehicle buyers, followed by the customer returning to the dealership to have a problem fixed (22 per cent).
Senior director of JD Power and Associates research operations in Europe and Africa, Brian Walters comments that “with such a wide variety of nameplates and models, automotive retailing in South Africa is very challenging. Nonetheless, providing customers with complete and accurate information on the various models and derivatives available may help to eliminate unwelcome surprises when their vehicle is delivered. Sales people must go the extra distance to ensure that customers have a complete understanding of which features and options their vehicle will come equipped with and what the vehicle will look like, including exterior and interior colours.”
The results show that the highest ranked manufacturer for satisfying new-vehicle buyers is BMW. The company obtained 893 out of a possible 1 000 points. Mercedes-Benz with 882 points and Honda with 864 points make up the top three.
The industry average is 843 points. The delivery process showed up as being the most satisfying experience and dealership facility being the least satisfying.
“While the overall satisfaction with the sales experience is relatively high, there is still room for improvement – particularly within the dealership facility,” said Walters. “Among the lowest-rated dealership facility attributes are inventory size and the convenience of the dealership’s hours and location.”
The study also shows that dissatisfied owners, who have rated their vehicle ownership experience as below average, may only account for three per cent of new-vehicle buyers, but they share their negative experiences with an average of 12 people. On the other hand satisfied new vehicle buyers go on to tell an average of only four other people about their positive experience.
The results of the 2010 South Africa Sales Satisfaction Index Study is based on responses from more than 7 300 new vehicle buyers who purchased their vehicles between November 2009 and June 2010. For a graph of these results, click on the documents tab in the top right hand corner of the images above.
The IQS survey published in the February 2011 issue of CAR measures problems encountered during the first two to nine months of vehicle ownership. It is based on a representative sample of 7 719 consumer experiences and on vehicles owned between November 2009 and June 2010. Get the latest issue for a detailed look at all the results.