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Following the Pied Piper: Study Shows Which Dealers Best at Closing the Deal

Despite claims of doing things better, Tesla falls far short of rivals.

by on Jul.08, 2014

Despite claiming it can do a better job of helping customers than franchised dealers, Tesla came in last in the latest Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index.

For many – perhaps most – motorists, buying a car is a process only slightly less painful than having a root canal. Yet some dealers do a markedly better job not only keeping potential customers satisfied but also making sure they close the deal. Who’s doing the best job is the subject of a new study that puts Mercedes-Benz at the top of the list, and battery-car start-up Tesla way down at the bottom.

It’s the first time Tesla has been included in the annual Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index, and it raises serious questions about the California carmaker’s claims to be doing things a better way with an approach that relies on factory-owned, rather than franchised, showrooms.

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“Today, car salespersons have become a lot more helpful” than they were barely a decade ago, said Fran O’Hagan, the analyst behind the Pied Piper study. But he cautions that it takes more than just a friendly attitude and the ability to answer a customer’s questions to close a deal while also keeping buyers happy. (more…)

Cadillac Escalade Takes Top Spot in Customer Satisfaction Survey

Buick and Mercedes-Benz score high in new study.

by on May.24, 2012

The Cadillac Escalade tops the charts in the new Vehicel Satisfaction Awards.

Quality, reliability and dependability have become the price of admission in today’s auto industry.  It takes quite a bit more to stand out in the increasingly crowded market, according to a new study, which finds the Cadillac Escalade the top model in terms of customer satisfaction.

Buick and Mercedes-Benz, meanwhile, tied as top brands in the 2012 Vehicle Satisfaction Awards, or VSA, which asked 75,000 motorists to rate the vehicles they’re driving.

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“In today’s market, it’s difficult to find a low quality vehicle,” according to George Peterson, president of AutoPacific, Inc., a California-based research firm that prepared the new report.  “The quality of vehicles from all manufacturers has risen to the highest level in history and what delineates a car or truck is owner satisfaction.”

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Ford Tops the List in Latest Motorist Choice Awards

But imports dominate overall.

by on Sep.23, 2011

A Ford expedition rolls off the assembly line at the maker's suburban Detroit truck plant - which was recently converted to build small cars like the Focus.

There seem to be more and more automotive awards every year, and countless studies that try to rank the latest models according to some arcane quality algorithm.  The Motorist Choice Awards aim to pull things together and let owners report on what are not only the highest-quality cars but the ones they’d actually like to own.

And what they told the researchers from IntelliChoice and AutoPacific – who cooperated on this year’s study, the sixth for the Motorists Choice Awards – is that domestic automakers are making steady progress, though imports still dominate.

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Ford is, more than any of the Detroit makers, dominating the domestic revival, the number two U.S. manufacturer capturing four of the 15 popular lifestyle segment awards, more than any other brand.  Its Lincoln brand adds a fifth and sixth trophy, its Navigator capturing the lead among premium-brand “people movers,” while the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid was chosen the most Eco Friendly luxury model.

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