Maybe the bad old days of predatory car salesmen in shiny polyester suits are behind us, after all.
According to the latest customer satisfaction numbers from J.D. Power and Associates, overall satisfaction with the selling dealer has improved in all market segments from 2010 to 2011.
When it comes to luxury car sales, Lexus customers are the most satisfied with the entire car buying process. The Japanese brand displaces Jaguar, who had been atop the Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) rankings since 2008
The latest SSI result was a very good showing for Lexus, who finished fifth among luxury brands in J.D. Power’s 2010 SSI survey. In fact, Lexus
hasn’t topped the list since 2007, which goes to show how competitive luxury brands are in regards to keeping buyers happy.
The biggest gains in satisfaction from 2010 to 2011 occurred in the delivery process, which is likely the result of increasing technology in new vehicles. Dealers are spending more time explaining and demonstrating features to buyers, which in turn produces higher satisfaction with the delivery process.Ford and Lincoln were criticized by customers
for the complexity of the Sync and MyFord / MyLincoln touch systems, prompting the automaker to increase focus on customer training during the delivery process. In 2011, Lincoln
jumped from ninth to sixth position among luxury brands in the SSI study, while Ford fell from sixth in 2010 to tenth in 2011 among mainstream automakers.
It’s a good thing that buyers are happier in the showroom these days, since the SSI study also revealed that the overall transaction time has increased from 4.1 hours in 2010 to 4.3 hours in 2011. If customers are more satisfied, we’re betting that extra time isn’t spent pitching window etching or paint sealants.