Skoda ranked highest in overall sales satisfaction for the first time in four years, according to the JD Power Asia Pacific 2007 India Sales Satisfaction Index StudySM released on Wednesday.
Recording a single-point increase over 2006, the overall satisfaction in the industry remained static. Six of the nine companies in the study recorded improvements compared with 2006, with Ford and Toyota posting the highest improvement since 2006.
The study also found a change in financing patterns since 2006, with fewer customers taking loans to purchase cars.
Sixty per cent of customers reported receiving a cash discount in 2007. While comparing cash discounts with two value-added offers—free accessories and free extended warranty—customers reported greatest satisfaction on receiving a free, extended warranty, either in combination with a cash discount or with free accessories. A combination of extended warranty with cash discount provided the highest satisfaction. Satisfaction fell marginally when an extended warranty was combined with free accessories in lieu of a cash discount.
Sales satisfaction is generally based on six factors — delivery process, delivery timing, salesperson, dealer facility, paperwork and deal. Skoda performed particularly well in three categories, including delivery process, delivery timing and paperwork. Maruti Suzuki and Mahindra follow Skoda, respectively.
“Extended warranty is not only beneficial to the customer but also helps the automaker ensure that the customer is retained within the network for post-warranty service,” Mohit Arora, senior director, JD Power, Asia Pacific region, said.