Once again the global automobile giant, Toyota Motors has topped the satisfaction index for satisfaction study of four wheeler dealers. Hyundai has done a tremendous turn around and has enlisted second on the index, which however is noteworthy considering their ranking 2 years ago. TNS automotive is doing this research independently to study the four wheeler dealer satisfaction since 2002, in effect giving a close-up view of the nature of relationship over the years. This study is instrumental for the auto manufacturers as it provides the tool for assessing their relationship with the primary consumers i.e. Dealers.
In the current scenario, where you have a brand exclusive outlet, it become manifold important for the indigenous manufacturers to hold on to their channels, given the fact when many global brands are venturing into the Indian markets.
The research is not just some few tables with numbers in it providing just the satisfaction scores. It has been designed in such a manner so as to provide with all the critical feedback, of the nature of expectation which the dealer has vis-à-vis its supplier i.e the manufacturing companies. The Dealer satisfaction survey 2010 is an attempt to showcase these parameters and explain the evolving changes over time.
The study was done at the pan India level covering almost the entire spectrum of car dealers of virtually all manufacturers, albeit leading ones. Due importance was given to the nature of the market, which is very diverse in Indian context. Hence the study covered Tier 2 and Tier 3 towns, in addition to Tier 1 towns and metro cities.
The head of the dealers were asked to grade the performance of their respective manufacturers in varied aspects, relating to operations, and profitability as an independent aspect with respect to the manufacturer’s overall relationship. The study was conducted across 76 towns encompassing 492 dealers.
The period of the study i.e. 2010 as a whole saw relationship improvement with dealers. This factor cuts across all the brand lines.
The study is touted as a dynamic reflection of the complexities of the car market. The increase in domestic demand has laid more importance to process pertaining to delivery and allocation of models on a fair basis, which by all standards poses an operational challenge for the manufacturing companies. With the flurry of new launches, the satisfaction levels of product related factors are generally high.
One critical aspect that is highlighted by the study, which shows the industry in poor light is, delay in solving problems or in worst cases stalling it and not giving due weightage to the feedback provided by the dealers. Other such aspects which filters out is the unfair way in which network is planned.
After sales, once more proved to be the Achilles heel with the dealers showing their discontent with the non-availability of parts.