Young and First-Time New-Vehicle Buyers in Mexico Create Challenges and Opportunities for Automakers and Dealers
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BMW Ranks Highest among Luxury Brands in New-Vehicle Sales Satisfaction in Mexico; Toyota Ranks Highest among Mass Market Brands
MEXICO CITY: 19 August 2014 — With many new vehicles in Mexico being sold to young and first-time buyers, automakers and dealers are faced with both challenges and opportunities, according to the J.D. Power 2014 Mexico Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) StudySM released today.
The inaugural study, which is a comprehensive analysis of the new-vehicle purchase experience, explores customer satisfaction with the selling dealer by examining five measures (listed in order of importance): working out the deal (33%); delivery process (27%); salesperson (22%); dealership facility (11%); and test drive (7%).
Customers 34 years and younger comprise 42 percent of all new-vehicle buyers in Mexico, trailing only those 35-54 years old, a group that accounts for 51 percent of sales. Additionally, 35 percent of all new vehicles in Mexico are sold to buyers who are purchasing their first vehicle. This comes at a time when new-vehicle sales in Mexico are expected to reach 1.1 million units in 2014, the highest level in the country since the record sales of 1.13 million in 2006.
“The combination of growing sales and the increasing number of younger and first-time buyers makes it a great time for dealers to make a good first impression on new customers with the intent of making them long-time loyal customers,” said Gerardo Gomez, director and country manager at J.D. Power de México. “The challenge is that new-vehicle buyers in Mexico, and the younger customers in particular, are doing their homework online before visiting the dealerships, so they know a lot about the vehicle they want to purchase and they have high expectations for the dealership to meet.”
The study finds that 39 percent of new-vehicle buyers in Mexico use the Internet during their shopping process. Although this percentage is lower than the proportion of those in the United States (75%) and Brazil (50%), it still represents a substantial number of customers. Younger vehicle buyers are most likely to use the Internet during the shopping process, as 42 percent of new-vehicle buyers 34 years and younger use the Internet to shop, compared with 39 percent of those who are 35-54 years old and only 30 percent of those who are 55 years and older.
Satisfaction among new-vehicle buyers who use the Internet during the shopping process (809 on a 1,000-point scale) is 19 points lower than among those who do not use the Internet (828). Additionally, satisfaction among those who visit a dealer’s website (828) or manufacturer’s website (815) is higher than among those who visit most other types of sites.
- Only 36 percent of new-vehicle buyers in Mexico test drive the model they eventually purchase (or one like it) from their selling dealer. The remainder either did not want/need a test drive (51%); were not offered a test drive (8%); or could not take a test drive as no test-drive vehicle was available (5%).
- Among new-vehicle buyers who did take a test drive, the average length for the industry as a whole is 27 minutes. Overall, 93 percent of buyers perceive their test drive was thorough enough.
- The delivery process is critical to sales satisfaction. The first critical point in the vehicle delivery process revolves around who at the dealership actually delivers the vehicle. In the 2014 study, the salesperson handles the delivery for 79 percent of customers who purchased a mass market vehicle, compared with 75 percent of those who purchased a luxury vehicle. Delivery specialists are the second-most commonly used staff for delivery (15% for luxury and 10% for mass market). Delivery process satisfaction among vehicle buyers whose delivery was handled by a delivery specialist is 838, followed by the salesperson at 820 and other dealership employees at 815.
- Delivery process satisfaction is higher when vehicle delivery takes place at the dealership (827), compared with when it takes place at the customer’s home (804) or place of work (788).
BMW ranks highest among luxury brands, with a score of 839. MINI ranks second (837) and Mercedes-Benz third (836).
Toyota ranks highest among mass market brands, with a score of 836. Honda and Nissan rank second in a tie with 824 each.
The 2014 Mexico Sales Satisfaction Index Study is based on the evaluations of 3,024 new-vehicle owners in Mexico after one to seven months of ownership. The study was fielded April through June 2014.
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