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Top Gear Philippines


Surprise, surprise. Toyota is once again number one in the latest J.D. Power Sales Satisfaction Index Study (SSI) in the country.  The company beat 10 other mass-market car brands to claim the top spot.

The global auto giant garnered a score of 766 points out of a possible 1,000, and was found to be performing particularly well in terms of dealer facilities, sales personnel and its delivery process. The Japanese car brand was followed closely by Isuzu and Kia, which fell short with 763 and 760 points, respectively.

The SSI is based on the responses of 1,679 car owners who purchased their vehicle between August 2015 and April 2016. It took into account six factors: sales initiation (20%), delivery process (18%), delivery timing (18%), salesperson (17%), dealer facility (15%) and deal (12%). The overall satisfaction with the sales and delivery process in the Philippines currently sits at 758 points.

According to the study, technology is now playing a bigger part in the car-buying process, with 58% of new-car shoppers using the Internet to buy a vehicle. Of these online shoppers, 69% of them visited the dealer's website--a 32 percentage point increase compared to the year prior. The most searched information is vehicle price (69%), followed by features and accessories (43%), and dealer info (34%).

Test drives at dealerships have also experienced a significant increase, with customers who take a test drive at their dealer increasing to 64% in 2016 from 42% in 2015. Taking a drive is far from a done deal though, as only 7% of customers gave a 10/10 score after the experience, compared to 19% in 2015.

While customers are getting better deals, satisfaction is being held back by problems related to paperwork. The study found that 92% of car buyers now negotiate the price of the vehicle compared to just 77% the year before--81% were successfully able to negotiate for a cash discount. The number of customers going for car loans is also up, 84% in 2016 compared to 76%.

Lastly, findings show that all this work towards improving customer satisfaction is definitely paying off. Among highly satisfied respondents, 44% said they would "definitely" opt for their chosen brand and 51% said they would certainly recommend said brand to family and friends. When it comes to dissatisfied individuals on the other hand, only 21% said they would go for the same brand, with only 34% saying they would recommend it.

With the number of car shoppers in the Philippines, we can only imagine the amount of work it takes for automotive companies to keep up. But if studies like this are anything to go by, they seem to be doing a pretty good job appealing to a rapidly growing market.

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Drei Laurel
Online Editorial Assistant
Drei's passion for driving began not behind the wheel of a car, but in front of a keyboard and computer screen, playing 'Need For Speed' for hours on end with his twin brother.
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