US: study finds Mercedes best at taking home the sale image

Fran O’Hagan, a California researcher that monitors dealer behavior to make up his annual Pied Piper Satisfaction Index says in recent years Mercedes dealerships have set the standard.

Today, the auto market in the US, the second largest in the world, is posting stellar results every month and heading towards its sixth year of consecutive growth – a record. But the sector is also fiercely competitive, and even more so when it comes to the luxury segment, where there’s an all out war between the main premium brands. So, manufacturers have invested time, effort and bucket loads of money into delivering almost perfect models. And studies show that auto quality is at its highest level – but O’Hagan points out that in the end, the customer not only has to experience and interact with the product, but also with the people that sell it. So, naturally, dealer treatment could be a make it or break it sale.

The Pied Piper Satisfaction Index uses a small army of mystery shoppers to showrooms around the US, and they proceed to measure how sales people level up to a series of defined metrics. The study shows there has been progress registered throughout the years, but there are still major potholes between the best and worst. Mercedes leads the study with a score of 112 (+2 from 2014), followed by Infiniti, Lexus, Mini and Toyota to make up the top five. BMW, ranked sixth, has been climbing the charts lately. At the other end of the spectrum we find Scion, Volvo, Mitsubishi, Rover and Tesla.