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 |  Jul 12 2011, 9:00 PM

Mercedes-Benz dealerships have been awarded the top spot for the third consecutive year in an independent study issued on yesterday using secret shoppers to determine how customers are treated. Both Jaguar and Lexus tied for second place with Toyota and Chrysler being the best among mass-market brands in the Pied Piper study.

Mercedes-Benz has been locked into a tight race with BMW to overtake Lexus this year as the top-selling brand in the U.S market however Lexus lost sales caused by the March earthquake in Japan halting production. Mitsubishi and Suzuki finished at the bottom of the survey due to low volume sales. Lincoln scored the worst among luxury brands falling to below the industry average and Ford fell to bellow the industry average as well.

In total, 3,524 “mystery shoppers” were sent to U.S dealerships rating how sales people performed in explaining the features of the car to finalizing a sale.

[Source: Automotive News]