Latest findings of the 2004 Dealer Satisfaction Study, released today by leading market information provider TNS, claim that Honda Motorcycle and Scooters (HMSI) and Honda Siel Cars (HSCI) rank highest in dealer satisfaction with their principals in the two and four-wheeler industry segments, respectively.
The study represents the responses of more than twelve hundred two and four-wheeler dealers on the key areas of product, management relationship, profit & margin, order & delivery, sales & marketing activities, after-sales & parts support, warranty, sales representatives, after-sales representatives, and training support, inform an official communiqué.
The 2004 Dealer Satisfaction Study is a unique study conducted for the second time by TNS specialist division, TNS Automotive. The DSS study is based on TRI*M, TNS’ proprietary stakeholder management system. The TRI*M index score provides a measure of the relationship strength that a given manufacturer enjoys with its dealers.
Rankings for the DSS study are done at the industry segment-level to provide comparisons among similar groups of dealers. The manufacturers ranking highest in their respective industry segments for dealer satisfaction are: Honda Motorcycle and Scooters India followed by Hero Honda and Bajaj Auto (for two-wheeler segment) and Honda Siel Cars India followed by Toyota Kirloskar Motor and Hyundai (for the four-wheeler segment). The fact that all three Honda affiliate companies ranking among the top four manufacturers show the level of commitment by the manufacturer for the Indian market.
“The industry average score of 63 reflects a relatively low level of dealer commitment and indicates that dealers are vulnerable to defection,” the release quoted Rajeev Lochan, General Manager (Asia Pacific) of TNS Automotive, “Four-wheeler dealers register a much stronger commitment score than two-wheeler and record a significant increase compared to the 2002 study.”
“While Honda Motorcycle and Scooters ranks highest for the second consecutive time, Honda Siel’s elevation to the segment-leading position is driven by a sharp increase in its dealer commitment ratings,” adds Lochan. “The surge in sales since the introduction of new Honda City and higher utilisation of service workshop capacity are the key drivers for this change since 2002.”
The study reveals that there are more ‘uninvolved’ (neither satisfied nor committed) dealers than ‘partners’ (both satisfied and committed) in the automotive industry. This is particularly true for the two-wheeler industry which has a significantly low percentage of ‘partners’. The key to building partners is to focus on the most critical areas that impact dealer satisfaction and commitment to the manufacturer. Concern for dealer profitability, management relationship, sales and marketing support, and product strengths are some of the critical areas.
Dealers and end-consumers are the two main stakeholders in automotive business and a manufacturer’s marketplace success is driven by its ability to manage expectations of both. While committed dealers tend to develop satisfied customers, it is not always true when comparing the results of this study with the past customer satisfaction study conducted by TNS Automotive in 2004.