For the third consecutive year, Mini sits on top of the J.D. Power Sales Satisfaction Index among mass-market brands, while Lexus takes the top spot for the second consecutive years among luxury brands.
The study results are based on the dealership facility, delivery process, deal making and the salesperson. It also looks at the experiences of people who shopped for a specific brand, but ultimately rejected it, and asks them about their experience negotiating, with the facility, the fairness of price, inventory availability and the salesperson.
For mass-market brands, Mini ranks first with a score of 712 out of 1000, while Buick ranks at second with 706 points and GMC finishes out the top three with 683. Honda is the most improved brand for 2012, moving from eleventh spot in 2011 to eighth place this year with a score of 666.
Among luxury brands, Lexus takes the highest honor with 737 points, Infiniti comes in at second with 728 points while Cadillac rounds out the top three with 720 points. The second place brand, Infiniti, improved the most in 2012, moving from eighth to second in 2012.
Overall, customer’s buying experiences have been improving, ranking an average 664 points out of 1000 in 2012, compared to an average of 648 points in 2011.
The study also found that nearly 80 percent of new-vehicle shoppers consult the internet for advice, one third of which go straight to online ratings and reviews. “For years, new-vehicle buyers have accessed the Internet to research model information, vehicle features, configurations and pricing,” said Chris Sutton, senior director of the Automotive Retail Practice at J.D. Power and Associates. “Now, neutral online ratings/review sites are playing a key role in dealer selection. Whether the online reviews are positive or negative, they impact buyers’ willingness to visit a dealer.”
Gender wise, J.D. Power found that males are more likely to consult review sites, where as females are more likely to consult social networking sites to get opinions.