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Ipsos Automotive Quality Awards

Standout performances from Audi, Lexus and Chevrolet (passenger cars) and Toyota, Chevrolet and Isuzu (commercials)

Keeping the customer satisfied…

Ipsos, the international survey company, has announced its 2013 quality awards for sales and service experience in the South African automotive industry. These awards have been made for the past nine years and have become the benchmark in customer experience.

Ipsos measures the satisfaction when purchasing and servicing vehicles, and recognition is given to top achievers in the following categories: Passenger Vehicle (PC) Purchasing Experience; PC Servicing Experience; Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) Purchasing Experience, and LCV Servicing Experience.

Across both the sales and service environment, top performing passenger car brands this year include Chevrolet, Audi and Volkswagen, while in the light commercial segment Chevrolet, Isuzu and Toyota have delivered the strongest performances.

Passenger Vehicle Purchasing.

The category of PC purchasing enjoys the highest average score for the quality of customer experience at 93.8% “Compliments must go to all of the Gold Award winners who all have traditionally been excellent performers, with scores in this band above 94.4%” states Patrick Busschau, automotive business unit director at Ipsos South Africa.

Gold awards went to Audi, Volkswagen, Chevrolet and Toyota. Mercedes-Benz, Opel, Renault, Volvo, Lexus, Nissan and Mazda received silver awards, with Ford and Peugeot taking bronze.

Passenger Vehicle Servicing.

The category of PC servicing has an average score of 85.8% (up from 84.8% in 2012). Gold award winners in this category are Audi, Chevrolet, Volkswagen and Lexus.  Lexus has maintained Gold in this category for 4 years in a row. “It’s encouraging to see a slight increase in the average in this category,” states Busschau. “Servicing always yields lower scores than purchasing as it is a more challenging environment in which to delight customers. It is essentially a grudge purchase and so the results we are seeing must be extremely pleasing to the industry participants. The top performers exemplify an understanding of customer needs, which in turn affirms a sense of confidence in the brand and the dealership to deliver to the customer’s expectations. This all wraps up a nice little package that delivers value for money in the customer’s mind, with as little hassle and sacrifice as they deem to be reasonable.”

Silver awards went to Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Toyota and Opel, with Mitsubishi, Renault and Mazda taking bronze.

Light Commercial Vehicle Purchasing Experience

The category of LCV Purchasing Experience has yielded five Gold Awards and a very high category average of 92,7%, up from last year.  This category has traditionally performed at a slightly lower level than the PC purchasing experience, but is catching up to the performance of the passenger segment. “There is still opportunity to separate out the light commercial sales experience from the passenger car experience with a clear focus on the specific needs of the commercial vehicle buyer,” comments Busschau.

Gold awards went to Isuzu, Toyota, Chevrolet, Nissan and Volkswagen. No other makes achieved statistically meaningful scores, so no silver or bronze awards were made.

LCV Servicing Experience

The top achievers for the category of LCV Servicing Experience were Volkswagen, Toyota, Isuzu, Nissan, and Chevrolet, who all made the gold category. The average score for this category has improved again from last year to 86% in 2013, which is very similar to the passenger car service average. “The service areas of dealers have become very good at standardising processes and delivering consistently to customers. Again the zone for improvement in recent times is in the softer skills dealer staff are developing to really make the customer feel important to the dealership and that they are receiving value for money with as little inconvenience as possible,” says Busschau.

Mazda, Ford and Mitsubishi achieved silver, and no bronze award was made.

Launch Pad: Chevrolet Spark

2202 Chevrolet Spark 1

Cheeky city slicker

Wendy Robinson

In May 2012 General Motors South Africa started shipping the locally manufactured Spark to its dealer network which formed part of GMSA’s R1 billion rand investment in three local vehicle assembly programmes.

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