'Nothing special' about luxury-brand purchase experience in India: report

Updated: October 15, 2013, 01:50 PM IST

Getting your money's worth is not just getting enough quality and quantity of car for what you've paid but the whole experience of purchasing and owning a car. According to a recent report from JD Power Asia Pacific, luxury vehicle brands in India are not making their sales experience significantly different from those of the mass-market automobile manufacturers. The study measured sales satisfaction in two separate vehicle segments namely luxury and mass market for the first time.

"With customers paying much more for a luxury vehicle, they likely have higher expectations during the sales process," said Mohit Arora, executive director at JD Power Asia Pacific. He added, "Even when their expectations are met, it is surprising that their satisfaction is not significantly higher than mass-market vehicle buyers' satisfaction."

In the study, the overall sales satisfaction in the luxury segment averages at 873 index points out of 1,000 points, 32 points higher than the mass-market segment average. However, the overall sales experience figures are much lower – 842 against 834 for mass market cars.

Robert Frittrang, MD BMW plant in Chennai with the locally produced 7 SeriesRobert Frittrang, MD BMW plant in Chennai with the locally produced 7 Series

BMW ranks the highest among luxury brands in India scoring 881 points. Mercedes Benz scored a point less than the average at 872 points and segment-leader Audi scored the least with 866 points.

2013 Audi A4 diesel2013 Audi diesel

The study examines seven factors that contribute to new vehicle buyers' overall satisfaction – delivery process, delivery timing, salesperson, sales initiation, dealer facility, paperwork and deal. Delivery process and timing form over 40 per cent of the scoring, while a good (or bad) salesperson contributes to 15 per cent of the total score.

While SIAM has stopped giving out sales figures of luxury brands, JD Power sources these numbers from its erstwhile forecasting division, now called LMC Automotive. According to LMC, Audi is the top luxury brand in India in terms of sales clocking a healthy 40 per cent growth this year selling 5,561 units.  In second place is Mercedes with 4,574 units off its showrooms, a growth of 43 per cent, and rounding up the top three is BMW with a de-growth of 25 per cent selling 3,830 units in the same period.

"An increase in the number of luxury car models available in India, coupled with attractive financial options that enhance affordability, have really helped the luxury car market grow. With that growth comes added pressure for the luxury brands to differentiate themselves from the mass market brands," said Arora.

Price (Ex-Delhi)
Starts Rs 42.34 Lakhs
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