The results of the latest automotive customer care survey conducted by Ipsos in South Africa are out, with Audi and Volkswagen again finding themselves at the top of the pile, with Nissan also collecting gold in all four categories.

The study, which Ipsos says is based on interviews with more than 20 000 customers in the 2017 calendar year, covers both purchasing and servicing experiences, with the sample of participating brands representing more than three out of every four new cars and light commercial vehicles (LCV) sold through dealership channels in South Africa.

Audi and Volkswagen both once again attained gold awards for the customer purchasing experience, with Volkswagen also collecting gold in the LCV sales category. Audi has achieved the gold standard in the servicing experience for the past four years too, while Volkswagen has had a gold rating for both passenger car and LCV servicing for the past two years.

Ipsos reported that Nissan had made “very positive strides” in both its purchasing and servicing operations at its dealers and collected gold awards in both categories among local passenger car and light commercial vehicle buyers.

Audi, Nissan, and Volkswagen were the only brands that took home gold awards for passenger car purchasing, with several brands – Chevrolet (which, of course, has since left the country), Mercedes-Benz, Opel, Toyota and Volvo – collecting silver, and Ford, Honda and Renault rating bronze in this category of the survey.

Nissan, Toyota, and Volkswagen were the only three gold award winners in terms of the light commercial purchasing experience, with Chevrolet, Ford and Isuzu collecting silver.

Five brands (Audi, Lexus, Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen) earned gold awards for the passenger car servicing experience, with another five (Chevrolet, Mercedes-Benz, Opel, Renault and Volvo) rating silver. Honda was the sole recipient of a bronze award in this category.

Isuzu, Nissan, Toyota, and Volkswagen all earned gold awards for the light commercial vehicle servicing experience, with Chevrolet rating silver and Ford bronze.

“The consistency of good service that some brands deliver across their dealer network to so many customers over time is highly commendable as consistency is one of the most important factors in building a powerful brand reputation,” said Patrick Busschau, business unit director at Ipsos.

“Volkswagen and Audi brands continue to maintain particularly high levels of customer satisfaction in terms of both the buying and servicing of new passenger vehicles, year after year, despite facing very tough opposition in the local market. What is also pleasing to note is that a number of other brands are also upping their game to challenge for the Gold medal positions as well.

“Nissan is now seeing the fruits of their labours in all categories while Toyota can also see reward for their consistent effort in the passenger car servicing and both sales and servicing for light commercials,” he added.

“These latest results underline the fact that the custodians of these brands are certainly not sitting back and resting on their laurels but rather use the customer feedback from our ongoing surveys as well as other sources to improve areas of weakness.”

Check out the results below...

Purchasing experience: passenger vehicles

Gold: Audi, Nissan and Volkswagen
Silver: Chevrolet, Mercedes-Benz, Opel, Toyota and Volvo
Bronze: Ford, Honda and Renault

Servicing experience: passenger vehicles

Gold: Audi, Lexus, Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen
Silver: Chevrolet, Mercedes-Benz, Opel, Renault and Volvo
Bronze: Honda

Purchasing experience: light commercial vehicles

Gold: Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen
Silver: Chevrolet, Ford and Isuzu

Servicing experience: light commercial vehicles

Gold: Isuzu, Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen
Silver: Chevrolet
Bronze: Ford