Although car prices are considered expensive in Malaysia due to the high taxes and excise duties charged on foreign-made cars, this has not deterred Malaysians from continuing to buy cars at all. Buying a car is considered as the second most valuable investment for most Malaysians who pay a lot of attention to detail before buying a vehicle. Even, studies state that majority of Urban Malaysians generally own cars while they are still studying as opposed to people in other countries who usually buy their first car only after they have started working.
According to the J.D. Power 2015 Malaysia Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study, the percentage of consumers in Malaysia who are purchasing their household’s first vehicle is increasing dramatically, creating new challenges and opportunities for dealer salespeople.
The study, now in its 13th year, has been redesigned in 2015 and examines six factors that contribute to overall customer satisfaction with their new-vehicle purchase experience in the mass market segment. In order of importance, those factors are:
The study is based on responses from 2,371 new vehicle owners in the mass market segment, who purchased their vehicle between August 2014 and May 2015. Included in the study but not ranked due to small or insufficient sample size are Ford, Hyundai, Isuzu, Kia, Peugeot, Suzuki, and Volkswagen.
Toyota ranks highest in overall sales satisfaction among mass market brands for a third consecutive year, with a score of 791. Toyota performs particularly well in all factors except sales initiation. Mitsubishi ranks second at 787 while Honda ranks third at 758.
“Consumers who are buying their first vehicle have different requirements and expectations during the shopping experience than those who have purchased a new vehicle before, and that creates challenges for dealer salespeople,” said Rajaswaran Tharmalingam, country head, Malaysia, J.D. Power. “But it also creates great opportunities, as making a shopper’s first sales experience a positive and rewarding one can also build long-term customer loyalty and advocacy.”
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Asking about the resources for the information about both first-time and replacement vehicles during the purchase, buyers said that their decision process usually is a reflection of friends/ relatives review, owners of same make and websites.
Those who purchased their household’s first vehicle also mentioned auto shows (48%) and price guides (31%) as information sources, while replacement-vehicle buyers referred to ads/articles in newspapers/magazines (36%) and dealer owner/salesperson recommendations (34%).
Image and Data Courtesy: JD Power