Nissan races ahead

Staff reporter

Staff reporter

NISSAN has come out tops in the Synovate quality awards for sales and service delivery with a first in the sales experience of selling a passenger car, second in servicing a light commercial vehicle and fifth in servicing a car.

A major factor in the research, however, is the fact that dealers and manufacturers are doing a better job in the market place and that from 2000, when the highest score in purchasing a car was 86,9 percent, Nissan now scores 93,9 percent.

In fact the top 19 brands' scores for 2007 were all above the 86 percent figures of seven years ago.

This in a marketplace that, though down by 18 percent on last year for the first quarter of this year, still has 1267 passenger models available and 294 light commercials on the market, making it extremely competitive.

Synovate, the market research arm of the Aegis group, is represented in 121 cities in 57 countries, and conducted 50000 interviews in South Africa over a period of a year from January to December last year.

Richard Rice, client services director at Synovate, said that it was truly impressive that the motor industry had again managed to improve its customer experience. The results are studied by the manufacturing and dealer sectors.

Second in purchasing a car was Chevrolet and third BMW. Last on the list was Chrysler Jeep.

Servicing went to Mitsubishi, followed by Toyota and Jaguar with Peugeot finishing last.

Leading the field in purchasing light commercial vehicles was Nissan, ahead of Toyota and Isuzu, while best for servicing was Toyota, Nissan and Mitsubishi. Last was Fiat.

While servicing is considered a "grudge purchase" the industry average for servicing is increasing every year. Last year, the industry score for passenger vehicles had broken through the 80 percent barrier for the first time since 2003, said Rice.

"One must remember that with new entrants into the market, it is harder to maintain a high industry standard. New entrants often start out on a lower level when it comes to satisfying their customers. However, the industry average continues to improve despite this challenge," he said.

"Going forward into 2008, we can expect scores to increase, primarily due to the drop in vehicle sales that manufacturers are experiencing."