Which Automakers Gave New Car Buyers Sweet Satisfaction? Hint: Not FCA
J.D. Power & Associates has released its sales satisfaction index, and there’s a familiar tri-shield insignia gracing the top honors. There were also a slew of stinkers we are gradually growing accustomed to seeing on the bottom any list denoting some form of quality.
Buick topped the mass-market section of J.D. Power’s most recent sales satisfaction stud y with 809 out of a possible 1,000 points. General Motors’ not-so-luxurious luxury brand was trailed by Mini, Chevrolet, and GMC. Subaru and Volkswagen tied for fifth place with 775 points apiece. Mini had been J.D. Powers’ previous industry leader for sales satisfaction from 2010 onwards.
In the actual luxury segment, Porsche was out in front with 824 points. Infiniti came in second with 815, followed by Mercedes-Benz. BMW and Cadillac were tied with 807 and just ahead of Lincoln’s 806 points.
While Porsche’s win may not come as too big of a surprise, Buick’s performance was a little less expected. However, the company’s recent accolades at Consumer Reports and immense popularity overseas don’t make this seem like a staggering impossibility either.
Similarly to Consumer Reports’ Reliability Rankings, Buick’s impressive showing was mirrored by Fiat Chrysler brands rounding out the bottom of the list. Jeep, Dodge, and Ram were the three lowest-ranked brands on the satisfaction index. For luxury brands, Acura was the worst performer. However, it is worth mentioning that even the lowest scoring Ram still received a score of 733, which isn’t terribly far from the mass-market average of 764.
The U.S. Sales Satisfaction Index Study measures overall satisfaction of the sales experience for new vehicle buyers and rejecters. J.D. Power says its metric of “buyer satisfaction” is based upon working out the deal, experience with the salesperson, delivery process, and quality of the facility. “Rejecter satisfaction” is based on the experience had with the salesperson, perceived fairness of price, experience negotiating, inventory, and the quality of the facility. Overall, buyer satisfaction is more heavily weighted than rejecter satisfaction.
Some interesting takeaways from the study included an indication that older customers were easier to please than their younger counterparts, and that the telephone has remained a viable shopping tool. While most buyers used the internet at some point during their purchase, almost half also used the telephone, and those that did retained a higher satisfaction rate overall.
J.D. Power also found consumers gave higher satisfaction scores when engaging with sales people or product specialists that helped them understand vehicle technologies. Owners who worked with both a salesperson and product specialist tended to be more satisfied with the overall experience than those who dealt only with a salesperson.
[Image: General Motors]
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