Luxury automakers in India are not doing enough to during the sales experience to significantly differentiate themselves from the mass-market automakers, according to the 2013 India Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) study released by J D Power Asia Pacific.
According to the study, BMW ranks highest among luxury brands in sales satisfaction in India with a score of 881. The German car maker performs well in the dealer facility, sales initiation and salesperson factors.
The luxury vehicle market in India has grown in recent years, with sales expected to reach 26,000 units in 2013 and increase to 84,000 units by 2020, according to LMC Automotive.
The study, which for the first time measures sales satisfaction separately in two vehicle segments—luxury and mass market—examines seven factors that contribute to new-vehicle buyers’ overall satisfaction with their sales experience (listed in order of importance): delivery process; delivery timing; salesperson; sales initiation dealer facility; paperwork; and deal. Study findings for the mass market segment were announced in late August.
“An increase in the number of luxury models available in India, coupled with attractive financial options that enhance affordability, have really helped the luxury market grow,” said Arora. “With that growth comes added pressure for the luxury brands to differentiate themselves from the mass market brands.”
Overall sales satisfaction in the luxury segment averages 873 index points on a 1,000-point scale, 32 points higher than the mass market average. However, satisfaction among luxury vehicle buyers whose overall sales experience only met their expectations is not significantly different than those among mass-market buyers (842 vs. 834, respectively).
“With customers paying much more for a luxury vehicle, they likely have higher expectations during the sales process,” said Arora. “Even when their expectations are being met, it is surprising that their satisfaction is not significantly higher than mass-market vehicle buyers’ satisfaction.”
The study finds that adherence to a comprehensive and consistent implementation of 18 sales standards among salespersons has a direct impact on satisfaction for all luxury vehicle buyers. Vehicle buyers expect all 18 sales processes to be implemented in order to mitigate dissatisfaction. This is in contrast to the mass-market segment,