BMW SA has, for the fourth consecutive year, finished first in the Motor Dealer Satisfaction Index, as rated by the National Automobile Dealers Association.
BMW South Africa has, for the fourth consecutive year, finished first in the Motor Dealer Satisfaction Index (DSI), as rated by the National Automobile Dealers Association (Nada).
According to Deloitte & Touche, Land Rover took the runner-up spot and Kia Motors was third. In addition, the survey found that Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa was rated the most improved.
Ian Robertson, the managing director of BMW SA, received the winner’s award on behalf of the company at a special ceremony hosted by Nada in Johannesburg on Wednesday.
“The result again affirms BMW’s commitment to excellence across all business spheres. In particular, it highlights our single-minded focus on improving the level of service we provide to our dealers,” Robertson said.
This year 18 manufacturers and importers participated in the event. The list of participants included Audi, BMW, Daewoo, Daihatsu, DaimlerChrysler, Delta, Fiat/Alfa Romeo, Ford/Mazda, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar, Kia, Land Rover, Nissan, Renault, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo.
“The survey is held in great esteem by the franchisors,” said Gary McCraw, director of Nada, “and is used to establish benchmarks for the industry.”
The prime aim of the study “was to measure the impact and effectiveness of manufacturers and importers in a number of critical areas, with specific focus on customer satisfaction”, a spokesman for Nada said. In determining the overall winner, a total of 632 interviews were conducted with dealers throughout the country.
The survey questionnaire, which was jointly developed by Deloitte & Touche and NADA management personnel, covers every possible aspect of the dealer industry. Examples are relationships with the franchisor, customer satisfaction issues, products, distribution and supply, parts and accessories, warranty and goodwill claims, training, marketing financial claims.
In assessing BMW SA’s performance, the survey revealed that the company had “again performed exceptionally well, showing increases in ratings in most of the measured criteria – as a result it is placed well ahead of other manufacturers/importers”.
The NADA awards, held for the first time this year and based on the outcome of the survey, will be announced at an official media event.
“This further attests to the growing importance of the survey and the value attributed to it by the automotive industry,” said Duane Newman, Deloitte & Touche’s automotive industry spokesman.
“It is interesting to note that the performance of new, previously unmeasured participants is remarkably good,” added McCraw. “It would appear to show that these players have had the opportunity to learn from the mistakes and successes of others and have been able to start by implementing good business practices.”
Overall, McCraw commented that average performance has improved significantly, with the gap between top and bottom performers closing.
“There has been notable improvement in the parts sector,” he said, “since this is one of the most effective methods of improving dealers’ profitability.”
The Financial Services sector is also seeing the introduction of some innovative and attractive new options which should give stimulus to change or upgrade existing and more conventional packages.
“What has emerged clearly from the survey is the importance of communication between franchisor and dealer,” McCraw added, “that it must be consistent, open, worthy of confidence and liberal with facts, both positive and negative.”