Holden buyers were the happiest with their buying experience. Picture: Supplied.
Holden buyers were the happiest with their buying experience. Picture: Supplied.

What car salesmen do wrong

AUSTRALIANS aren't happy with new car dealers.

The latest survey from JD Power rates Australian sales satisfaction. And the news isn't good for salesman.

It found a big chunk of buyers believe that salesmen don't understand their needs when looking for a new car.

One of the main complaints was that the salesmen did not ask about their preferences and that they felt as if they were pressured into buying a new car. This experience was particularly high in those aged under 40.

Potential customers also believed that test drives were too short - averaging only 20 minutes or less. Those that had a test drive of longer than 30 minutes were more satisfied with their experience.

Respondents also said that a special ceremony at handover would enhance the buying experience. The survey found that this led the buyer to be more likely to refer the dealer to friends and family.

The survey had Holden and Mazda tied for first out of the mainstream brands followed by Toyota, Nissan and Ford. BMW was the highest ranked luxury brand.

Mazda tied with Holden as having the most satisfied customers.
Mazda tied with Holden as having the most satisfied customers.

The rankings were determined by six measurements: dealer sales consultant, delivery process, dealership facilities, working out the deal, paperwork completion and dealership website.

JD Power Australia boss Bruce Chellingworth believes that the sales experience is more important now that new car sales are declining.

"Given the slowdown in sales, it is essential that sales consultants spend the required time with each shopper to identify the best model and variant for their requirements," says Chellingworth.

"Simply 'pushing metal' won't help the dealership gain positive referral, ensure customer loyalty or promote the brand. In an increasingly competitive market, it is imperative that dealers understand and build trust with their customers."

According to the Vfacts sales report from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, new car sales declined by 3 per cent in 2018 over the previous year.

FCAI boss Tony Weber cited three main factors that have affected the new car market.

The Toyota HiLux was the best selling vehicle in the country in 2018.
The Toyota HiLux was the best selling vehicle in the country in 2018.

"New vehicle sales results in 2018 reflect a challenging climate across the Australian economy including a slowing housing market, tightening of money lending and the drought," says Weber.

Experts are tipping the tough economic conditins to continue with house prices to continue fall in 2019 along with below average wage growth.

Other factors weighing on the new car market is the rise of ride-sharing and peer-to-peer car sharing programs which reduce people's reliance on owning a vehicle.

On top of this there has been an emergence of car subscription services that allow users to drive a range of vehicles for a flexible time frame at a fixed cost.


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