According to J.D Power’s 2019 Malaysia Sales Satisfaction Index (Mass Market) Study, new-vehicle buyers in Malaysia are increasingly moving up the value ladder with more buyers showing interest in SUVs. On a 1,000-point scale, customers who purchased an SUV have a higher satisfaction than small car buyers (806 vs 794 points). Overall sales satisfaction in the mass market segment is 800, an increase of 16 points compared to 2018.
SUV buyers in 2019 comprised of 20 per cent of new vehicles compared to just 6 per cent four years ago. Across this five-year growth trajectory for SUVs, the proportion of small car and MPV/ van buyers have both dropped (each by 5 percentage points). Even though the average transaction price of SUVs in 2019 is 2.6 times higher than small cars, buyers are saying that vehicle styling, performance, technology and safety features are what attracts them. This is evidently different from 48 per cent of small car buyers, who state good fuel efficiency and low monthly instalments as the main reasons for purchase.
The study also found the proportion of replacement vehicle buyers increasing from 26 per cent versus 21 per cent in 2018, and that of additional vehicle buyers decreasing from 51 per cent versus 56 per cent in 2018. In relations, vehicle trade-ins that are important to dealer profitability are rising – 21 per cent versus 17 per cent in 2018. However, more customers are unhappy with the trade-in price received, stating it is below expectations (34 per cent vs 28 per cent in 2018).
The following are additional key findings of the 2019 study:
- Clear communications on vehicle price: Customers who say they paid more than expected for their new vehicle have lower satisfaction than those who found the price to be in line with expectations (751 vs. 810, respectively).This underlines the need for clear communications to avoid unwelcome surprises during the sales journey.
- Upgraded facilities get a thumbs up: More dealership facilities are equipped with amenities to enhance customer comfort for a better sales experience. Improvements are seen in features ranging from displays of vehicle accessories (48% vs. 43% in 2018) to something as essential as comfortable seating space (84% vs. 77% in 2018).
- Test drives boost satisfaction: While only 6% of buyers were told that a test drive vehicle was not available, this is essential for dealerships. Buyers who experience this scenario typically have a lower satisfaction (-94 points) than those who take test drives at the dealership of purchase.
Sales Satisfaction Rankings
Based on a 1,000-point scale, the index ranked Toyota as the highest at 835 followed by Mitsubishi at 831, Nissan at 810, Honda at 801 above the mass market average of 800. This follows with Perodua at 798 and Mazda and Proton at 779 each.
The Malaysia Sales Satisfaction Index (Mass Market) Study examined six factors that contribute to overall customer satisfaction with their new vehicle purchase experience in the mass market segment. In order of impact on overall sales satisfaction, those factors are: dealer sales consultant (26%); dealership facility (21%); delivery process (20%); paperwork completion (17%); working out the deal (13%); and dealership website (4%).
The study is based on responses from 2,045 new vehicle owners who purchased their vehicle between July 2018 and July 2019, and was fielded from January through September 2019.
The study also includes the Net Promoter Score which measures new vehicles owners’ likelihood to recommend their vehicle brand on a 0-10 point scale.
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