Suzuki Post Gain In Customer Retention
Suzuki Motor Vehicles Post Largest Five-Year Gain In Customer Retention
A five-year gain in customer retention by Suzuki in the United States is the largest since the inception of a J.D. Power and Associates study.
The widespread automotive industry survey assesses the percentage of new vehicle purchasers staying faithful to the same brand for a second consecutive year.
The study measures the percentage of new vehicle buyers and lessees who replace a previously purchased new vehicle with another from the same nameplate.
Increased cargo capacity and higher resale value were given as the main reason for Suzuki’s improvement.
Neal Oddes, director of product research and analysis at J.D. Power and Associates, said the improvements Suzuki had made in vehicle appeal and quality had paid off in steady increases in customer retention rates during the past five years.
This indicates that the brand has also been successful in changing customer perception of its vehicles, which can be a daunting task, said Oddes.
J.D. Power believes customer retention may become even more important to motor vehicle manufacturers in the coming years because new vehicle sales in the USA between 2007 and 2014 are expected to increase by only 8 percent.
Oddes said competition for a dwindling number of new vehicle buyers would likely intensify in the next seven years, meaning brands would need to retain more of their existing customers in order to increase, or even maintain, market share.
In addition, it was approximately four times more costly to attain a new customer than it was to retain an existing one, he said.
“In the face of a very competitive new vehicle market, a strong focus on customer retention becomes particularly important,” said Neal Oddes.
The 2007 Customer Retention Study was based on responses from 169,017 new vehicle buyers and lessees, of which 101,860 replaced a vehicle that was previously acquired new.
Many industry observers believe customer retention should be the number one priority for every motor vehicle dealer in the world.
Suzuki is on a roll internationally, with highly competitive new models and a lift in owner satisfaction boosting sales.
Among the expanding markets for the make, demand for new Suzuki motor vehicles is running at a record level in New Zealand, bolstered by increasing awareness of the brand.
J.D. Power and Associates, a highly respected business unit of the McGraw-Hill Companies, has rated Maruti Udyog Ltd, the Indian arm of Suzuki Motor Corporation, as number one in customer satisfaction in India for seven consecutive years.
When Maruti was established 26 years ago, Suzuki was chosen from seven prospective partners worldwide.
This was due to Suzuki’s undisputed leadership in small cars and also to the brand’s commitment to actively bring to Maruti contemporary technology and Japanese management.
Steven Lang, an independent motor industry commentator in North America, said recently Suzuki was the most underrated automaker today.