Which Auto Brands Rated Best/Worst Sales Experience?

The JD Power Sales Satisfaction Index is out for 2020. This takes a 1,000-point scale and determines the satisfaction of the sales process based on delivery, dealer personnel, paperwork, dealer website, and other factors. Almost 36,000 buyers were surveyed from January through June of 2020. So it determines which brands rated the best/worst overall sales experience through car dealerships

The calculations were divided between mass-market vehicles and luxury vehicles. Among the luxury brands, Lincoln had the highest numbers. For mass-market models, Mini came out on top. The Mini took the top spot from last year’s winner Buick. The Buick brand sank to third place. Wedged between the two is GMC trucks. Mini has been in JD Power’s top three for customer satisfaction since 2010. 

Lincoln beat out Porsche this year for the number one spot

2021 Lincoln Nautilus Flight Blue parked outdoors
2021 Lincoln Nautilus Flight Blue | Lincoln

Lincoln beat out Porsche this year for the number one spot. It was number one last in 2017. That year it shared the top spot with Mercedes-Benz. Lincoln has been improving customer relations in a number of ways over the years. According to Automotive News, it partnered with Calm, a mental fitness app, and is improving dealerships with Lincoln-only showrooms at the retail level. 

But Lincoln only beat out both Lexus and Mercedes-Benz by a single point. So the top three were Lincoln, and then Lexus and Mercedes tied for second. Third place was a three-way tie between Porsche, Cadillac, and Infinity. While Genesis did better in points for 2020 it still placed last for customer satisfaction. 

Alfa Romeo was only a notch above last-place Genesis continuing to dwell toward the bottom of the list. Of the German makes both Audi and BMW scored the lowest. Tesla doesn’t allow owners to be surveyed in 15 states in the US. Sample surveys from other states helped to come up with an average number which tied it with Audi and placed it below BMW. 

The only Japanese makes falling below average were Mitsubishi and Toyota

2019 Toyota RAV4
2019 Toyota RAV4 | Toyota

RELATED: A Few of Jeep’s 2020 SUVs Left Consumer Reports Dissatisfied

The top five overall in the mass market portion of the survey were Mini, GMC, Buick, Ford, and Subaru. The only Japanese makes to fall below the average were Mitsubishi and Toyota. Hyundai, Kia, Jeep, and Ram. The bottom of this list included Chrysler and then Fiat at the worst spot.  

Interestingly, one-in-four buyers said that shopping and then buying online due to the coronavirus convinced them not to go back to traditional dealerships for their next car purchase. They’re online car buyers forever. Another interesting fact is that 44% of online purchases were for specific cars listed on dealers’ website inventory lists. 

In all the pandemic gave dealerships the ability to approach online buying how they saw fit. The JD Power survey concentrated more heavily than in years past on digital sales and remote-buying.