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  • 1. Lexus | ASI Score: 59.5

    1. Lexus | ASI Score: 59.5

    When asking dealers for information on a new vehicle, consumers expect responses at Internet speed. Lexus responded to these inquiries, via e-mail, more quickly than any other manufacturer. However, with speed can sometimes come brevity. So, Lexus shoppers may need to follow up with a phone call to get more information before visiting the dealership.
  • 2. Chevrolet | ASI Score: 49.4

    2. Chevrolet | ASI Score: 49.4

    The biggest news in this study was Chevrolet's leap to No. 2 from its 2007 ranking of 15th. Chevrolet dealers delivered major improvements across the board in response rate and response quality. Not only did Chevy dealerships respond quickly, they were also thorough in answering the shopper's questions, explaining the value of doing business at their dealership, and offering good reasons to buy a new Chevrolet.
  • 4. Honda | ASI Score: 48.1

    4. Honda | ASI Score: 48.1

    Honda seems serious about giving their customers the highest quality Internet shopping experience. Its dealers responded quickly and were diligent about following up to make sure that the shopper was satisfied with the reply. Honda dealers were more likely than most to quote the vehicle's price, and present alternative choices -- whether it was a lower-cost model, or one with all the bells and whistles.
  • 6. Toyota | ASI Score: 45.1

    6. Toyota | ASI Score: 45.1

    Slipping from their 5th-place 2007 ranking, Toyota continued to deliver a balanced performance. Shoppers could expect an email response to their inquiries, although return phone calls were rare. Response speed was about average among the brands surveyed, but odds are good that questions would be answered -- especially those regarding new car pricing. Also, Toyota dealers weren't shy about extolling the virtues of buying from them.
  • 8. Jeep | ASI Score: 44.4

    8. Jeep | ASI Score: 44.4

    Jeep dealers definitely favored the e-mail reply over a phone response, and they were the strongest when it came to offering attractive incentives. Their responses typically presented compelling reasons to own a Jeep -- as well as the value of doing business at the local Jeep dealership. Jeep buyers might have to hurry, though, if they want to get a deal -- many Jeep dealerships offered incentives that expired in seven days or less.
  • 9. Infiniti | ASI Score: 43.2

    9. Infiniti | ASI Score: 43.2

    Tied with Saturn, Infiniti dealers were more likely to call the shopper on the phone than any other brand. It was also one of the brands that replied most quickly via e-mail, and Infiniti dealers did a good job of replying to shoppers' specific questions. Many dealerships stressed the value of Infiniti ownership, but shoppers shouldn't expect much in the way of "slash and burn" pricing discounts. That's just not the Infiniti way, even in a down economy.
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