August 4, 2006

Dealerships improving on vehicle repair and maintenance work, J.D. Power says

Westlake Village, California – Auto dealerships are increasingly getting repairs and maintenance done right the first time, and having the vehicle ready when promised, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2006 Service Usage and Retention Study. The study found that 86 per cent of owners who took their vehicle to the dealership for repair indicated the work was done right the first time, up from 72 per cent in 2001, and 87 per cent said the vehicle was ready when promised, up from 82 per cent in 2001.

The study, now in its tenth year, measures customer satisfaction of owners who visit a dealer during the fourth or fifth years of ownership, which typically represents the period after the manufacturer’s warranty expires. The study is based on six factors: service initiation, service advisor, service quality, user-friendly service, service delivery and in-service experience.

The study found that dealer efforts to address time issues are resulting in higher levels of customer satisfaction, with 89 per cent of respondents saying they were able to get a service appointment on the day they desired. When they arrived, 48 per cent said they were greeted immediately by a service advisor, while an additional 38 per cent said they had to wait less than five minutes.

The study also found that among premium brands, Lexus, Cadillac and Acura performed particularly well in satisfying customers; among non-premium brands, Buick and Saturn performed well. Among non-dealer service facilities, Goodyear Tire and Firestone Tire centres performed well. The survey was based on responses from 11,596 owners of 2001 and 2002 model-year vehicles.

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