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Posts Tagged ‘auto buyers’

Dealer Ethics Critical to Getting Vehicle Sales

Survey shows ethics, trust still tops on buyers wishlist.

by on Aug.09, 2016

General Motors' Shop-Click-Drive online shopping serivce was so popular, it made it available to all 4,300 U.S. dealers after a week of testing.

Automakers have long known that the opinions about car dealers are shall we say, less than positive? Dealers are also keenly aware that they aren’t always held in high regard and often try to find ways to make the experience more inviting.

Those efforts have ranged from significant store upgrades to no-haggle pricing to using kiosks to limit a customer’s interaction with a potential buyer.

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Thanks to Amazon and similar websites, perceptions about how to buy big-ticket items have changed and continue to do so. Dealers work in a highly competitive arena in terms of competition with each other, add in a shifting retail landscape and the problems can seem insurmountable. (more…)

Lenders Cutting Back on Subprime Loans

Credit challenged getting fewer loans and less money.

by on Sep.03, 2014

Lenders are loaning less money, less often to subprime and deep subprime buyers these days.

While auto sales sizzled in August and have been brisk for the year, the lenders helping to move that metal are no longer relying on the subprime buyers to keep the good times rolling.

The percentage of new vehicle loans going to consumers in the subprime and deep subprime segments was at 15.1% in Q2 2014, down from 22.1% in Q2 2013, according to Experian Automotive. Subprime buyers have credit scores ranging from 619 down to 550 while deep subprime is anyone below 550.

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The numbers are still higher than the low of 10.2% during the depths of the recession in 2009, the current figures are still well below the prerecession level highs of 16.6% in Q2 2008 and 19.9% in Q2 2007, the company reported. (more…)

Social Media, Web Review Sites Strongly Influence Satisfaction with Car Buying Process

Nearly 80% of all buyers now go online to help chose their next vehicle, according to new Power study.

by on Nov.28, 2012

The new study makes it clear car buyers want dealers to listen and help them make the right decision.

How satisfied you are with the process of purchasing your next vehicle will likely be influenced by whether – and where – you do your research online, according to a new study.

Among the various brands, Lexus achieved the highest level of satisfaction among luxury brands but Mini wasn’t very far behind.

Nearly 80% of all American car buyers go online during at least some part of the purchase process, according to the latest annual Sales Satisfaction Index from J.D. Power and Associates.  And about a third of all shoppers rely on ratings and review sites to help them pick a dealer.  But buyers who consult social networking sites, such as Facebook, tend to be more satisfied.

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“For years, new-vehicle buyers have accessed the Internet to research model information, vehicle features, configurations and pricing,” said Chris Sutton, senior director of the Automotive Retail Practice at J.D. Power and Associates. “Now, neutral online ratings/review sites are playing a key role in dealer selection. Whether the online reviews are positive or negative, they impact buyers’ willingness to visit a dealer.”


Mercedes-Benz on top of shopping survey

Study finds many makers losing frustrated customers.

by on Jul.14, 2009

It takes more than a good deal to win over a potential customer, reveals a new study.

It takes more than a good deal to win over a potential customer, reveals a new study.

A happy customer, it’s been said, is a repeat customer.  Yet a surprising number of automakers and their dealers seem to almost go out of their way to frustrate potential buyers, sending them scampering over to the competition.

That’s a key finding of the Prospect Satisfaction Index, an annual study by the California research firm, Pied Piper.  It reveals that Mercedes-Benz dealerships ranked highest in the newly released 2009 PSI, which looks at hidden facets of sales process, and how lookers are converted into serious prospects.

“Nine out of ten car shoppers walk back out a dealership’s door without buying,” said O’Hagan, who adds that, “The tough economic climate of the past year has clearly encouraged salespeople to be more helpful to the majority of shoppers who aren’t yet ready to buy, but still need help narrowing-down their selection.”

The Prospect Satisfaction Index looks at all manner of details in the way a manufacturer, through its dealers, interacts with customers at a showroom level – everything from the cleanliness of restrooms to the level of information a salesperson provides.

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Not surprisingly, perhaps, the findings indicate luxury brands come off the best, with Mercedes in first place, followed by Lexus and Jaguar.  The exception is Saturn, which ranked fourth, ahead of the British marque, Land Rover.  Saturn has long been known for a customer-friendly sales and service process, one reason General Motors found a ready buyer for the brand in Roger Penske, who will take over its operations in the months to come.


Will Gen Y Destroy the Auto Industry?

They’ve killed the music, newspaper and telecomm industries.

by on Feb.18, 2009

Will Gen Y save or kill the auto industry?

Will Gen Y save or kill the auto industry?

Will Gen Y kill the auto industry?

That’s the provocative question posed by a new study from AutoPacific. And before you write that off as preposterous, consider that the generation just entering the automotive market has already driven the nail in the coffin of the newspaper business, all but destroyed the recording industry, and forever changed the way the telecommunications industry functions.

In some parts of the world, we’re already seeing the impact young consumers can have on the auto industry. In Japan, for example, many potential Gen Y motorists are foreswearing the automobile, insisting they’d rather walk, ride a bike, or stick to mass transit.