The “dealership experience” may play a bigger role in consumers' loyalty to a manufacturer, according to public opinion research by Maritz.
Fully 57% of vehicle owners currently consider themselves loyal to a manufacturer. For those individuals, four of five cited product quality as the biggest driver of loyalty.
Other potential loyalty drivers included: having dealerships that consistently provide high quality sales and service experiences (11%); developing an ongoing relationship with the customer (7%); and offering financial incentives to be loyal (5%).
“Product quality obviously is the greatest driver of consumer loyalty,” says David Ensing, a director with Maritz Research's Automotive Group. “However as quality continues to improve, it is becoming less of a differentiator among manufacturers.
“In this case, the manufacturer may want to focus on dealership sales and service experiences. A great dealership experience could mean the difference between buying the manufacturer's product again or defecting to someone else.”