Lexus, Mini owners most satisfied with auto sales experience
New car buyers report greater satisfaction with the sales process than in previous years and have given Lexus the highest sales marks among luxury automakers and Mini the best among mass-market brands.
That’s the finding of the J.D. Power and Associates' 2011 U.S. sales satisfaction study.
Car buyers collectively gave the industry a score of 648 on a 1,000-point scale when it comes to the sales experience. That’s 13 points higher than 2010 and most likely reflects greater resources automakers and dealers are putting into customer satisfaction as the auto industry recovered from the recession, according to J.D. Power analysts.
Buyers also are spending more time at the franchise, taking delivery of their vehicles. They spent 11 minutes more, bringing the entire process to 4.3 hours. The time increase resulted from dealers taking more time to explain the technology of the new car, features such as Bluetooth, audio and navigation. Other studies indicate that complex technology has become a source of frustration for many buyers.
Cadillac and Mercedes-Benz ranked second and third in the luxury auto segment. Volvo ranked the lowest, with Acura and Audi next up the list.
Buick and GMC followed Mini among volume brands. Volkswagen had a huge improvement, jumping to fourth from No. 13 a year ago.
Jeep was rated the worst among the mass brands, followed in reverse order by Ram and Kia.
-- Jerry Hirsch
Photo: Lexus CT 200h. Credit: Tim Andrew