Satisfaction (not sticker price) sells cars

At the International Motor Press Association (IMPA), Chris Denove, vice president of J.D. Power & Associates, stated that customer treatment, satisfaction, and a vehicle’s design are the major factors that affect a vehicle’s desirability and pricing.

The firm's customer satisfaction surveys determined the following:
  • Automakers whose vehicles rated low had sales decline four percent on average.
  • Automakers whose vehicles rated medium had sales increase twenty-four percent on average.
  • Automakers whose vehicles rated high had sales increase forty-four percent on average (i.e., Lexus).

Vehicle designs that either appealed universally to customers (e.g., the Jaguar S-Type or Ford Mustang) or caused strong reactions in either direction (such as the Chrysler 300, Toyota Corolla, or the late Pontiac Aztek, pictured) sold vehicles to different audiences.

Finally, Power found that customer satisfaction can be affected by vehicle repair service: many customers are quite happy with their vehicles (and the automaker) if they receive good service, even with vehicles requiring high-maintenance. Unfortunately, only fifteen percent of those surveyed agreed that they were pleased with their repair shop's service.


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