According to the findings of the Dealer Satisfaction Study released by market information provider TNS, Mahindra & Mahindra dealers are the most satisfied among all passenger cars and UV dealers in the four-wheeler category. Bajaj tops the list in the two-wheeler category.
Pradeep Saxena, Senior VP, TNS Automotive, said, “Dealer sentiment is a strong endorsement of the manufacturer’s strategy and it reflects the confidence in future prospects. For the first time, Indian companies have displaced the multinational automotive companies from the top, ever since we started measuring the dealer satisfaction in India way back in 2002. This is a reflection of progress made by Indian manufacturers in developing a strategy to keep their dealers motivated.”
The DSS conducted by TNS specialist division, TNS Automotive, is a periodic survey covering the dealers of all major four-wheeler and two wheeler companies in India. The current study has covered more than 900 automotive dealers across the country and is a representation of the dealers’ voice. Responses pertain to the key areas of product performance, sales and marketing, after-sales and overall manufacturer relationships with dealers.
The study revealed that by and large, four-wheeler dealers are more satisfied than the two-wheeler dealers. However, the equation reverses in the case of dealers based in metros. This pattern is common with the satisfaction on profitability. The industry scores for the two-wheeler and the four-wheeler dealers are 73 and 81 respectively. This implies that at an overall level, the manufacturers are meeting the dealer fraternity’s expectations.
Saxena added, “Dealers feel that manufacturers are not concerned about their profitability and there are some sore areas like order and delivery delays, sales and marketing support, and relationship with the sales staff. Two-wheeler dealers have shown concern towards fairness of franchisee terms, of reward and recognition, and implementation of dealer suggestions.”
The enhanced satisfaction of Mahindra dealership is also driven by the recent new alliances that are propelling the company in the league of passenger car business. This is a total shift for the organisation from its traditional image of utility vehicle maker. Similarly for Bajaj, the sheer performance of all the recently launched models has spurred a buoyant mood among their dealers.
The areas where Mahindra dealers are happier compared to four-wheeler dealers at large pertain to timely delivery, fairness of contribution in joint advertising, implementation of dealer suggestions by dealer staff, empowerment and fairness of dealer rewards.
Areas where Bajaj stands out as compared to the industry are fairness of contribution in advertising; openness to dealer suggestions; understanding of the competitive scenario; and willingness to resolve the dealer grievances. It also stands out on concern for dealer profitability, where market leader Hero Honda is seen as weak.
Dealers and end consumers are the two main stakeholders in the automotive business and a manufacturer’s marketplace success is driven by its ability to manage expectations of the both. TNS has observed globally that the manufacturers who are able to keep their dealers motivated stand a better chance of achieving a high satisfaction among end customers.