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With Abundance of Digital Research, Dealers Welcome New Type of Customer at Vehicle Showrooms, J.D. Power Finds

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Mahindra Ranks Highest among Mass Market Brands

SINGAPORE: 26 Sept. 2018 — As the abundance of digital research builds, a new type of customer is being introduced to car showrooms in India, according to the J.D. Power 2018 India Sales Satisfaction Index (Mass Market) StudySM released today. The study finds that 54% of new-vehicle buyers have used the internet as a pre-shopping tool this year, nearly double from 2013. 

Buyers who used the internet as a pre-shopping tool for their vehicle exhibit different shopping characteristics than those who did not. Prior to purchasing a vehicle, the former group is less reliant on feedback from friends and relatives than those who do not use the internet (59% vs. 74%, respectively). When researching a new vehicle, buyers who used the internet tended to shop around more, with 33% of them having visited other dealerships of the same brand compared to those who did not use the internet (15%). During the purchasing process, 93% of buyers who used the internet negotiated the price of the vehicle and 83% took a test drive while at the showroom—this demonstrates the need to ensure an engaging transactional experience in the showrooms. 

“Digital channels enable customers to receive vast amounts of information before their vehicle purchase,” said Kaustav Roy, Regional Director at J.D. Power. “They are likely to be far more analytical and demanding not only during the transaction process of the vehicle, but also of the overall experience. It is imperative for brands and dealers to understand the requirements of these buyers and bridge the online and offline purchase journeys for an effective and engaging shopping experience.” 

Following are key findings of the study: 

  • Majority of female buyers research vehicle online: In this year’s study, 13% of all car buyers are women.  The majority (74%) of women buyers turn to online sources for pre-purchase research. A larger proportion (88%) of them is also choosing to test drive, compared with male buyers (79%). Half of all women buyers request an explanation of key vehicle systems such as audio/ entertainment, safety and maintenance from their dealer after vehicle delivery. 
  • Utilisation of digital device increases satisfaction: 66% of buyers indicate that their sales consultant used a digital device (eg., tablet, smartphone) to facilitate the explanation of the vehicle’s features. Overall satisfaction among these buyers is 847 points (on a 1,000-point scale), compared with 831 points among those who did not experience the utilisation of digital devices. 
  • Enhanced advocacy and loyalty: Sales processes in dealerships have improved since 2016, resulting in an increase in the percentage of buyers who say they “definitely would” recommend their dealer to family and friends (52% in 2016 to 78% to 2018.) 

Study Rankings

Mahindra ranks highest in sales satisfaction, with a score of 883. Hyundai ranks second with 876, while Jeep ranks third with 871. 

The 2018 India Sales Satisfaction Index (Mass Market) Study is based on responses from 8,707 new-vehicle owners who purchased their vehicle from September 2017 through May 2018. 

Now in its 19th year, the study examines six factors that contribute to overall customer satisfaction with their new-vehicle purchase experience in the mass market segment. In order of impact on overall sales satisfaction, those factors are dealership facility (22%); delivery process (21%); dealer sales consultant (21%); paperwork completion (17%); working out the deal (15%); and dealership website (3%). 

Media Relations Contacts

Aisling Carty; J.D. Power; Singapore; 65-3165-0119;

Geno Effler; J.D. Power; Costa Mesa, Calif., USA; 001-714-621-6224; 

About J.D. Power in the Asia Pacific Region

J.D. Power has offices in Singapore, Bangkok, Beijing, Shanghai and Tokyo that conduct customer satisfaction research and provide consulting services in the automotive, information technology and finance industries in the Asia Pacific region. Together, the five offices bring the language of customer satisfaction to consumers and businesses in Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, the U.A.E. and Vietnam. J.D. Power is a portfolio company of XIO Group, a global alternative investments and private equity firm headquartered in London, and is led by its four founders: Athene Li, Joseph Pacini, Murphy Qiao and Carsten Geyer. Information regarding J.D. Power and its products can be accessed through the internet at 

About J.D. Power and Advertising/Promotional Rules

Media Contacts

Shahilia Bhagat


Geno Effler

Costa Mesa, California
(714) 621-6224