Back in November 2022, GM Authority reported that Buick was ranked as the number one overall brand in regard to U.S. sales satisfaction. Now, the Tri-Shield brand sits atop the list once more, indicating that customers are extremely satisfied with their vehicle purchasing experience.
According to the 2023 J.D. Power U.S. Sales Satisfaction Index, Buick was ranked first overall with a score of 824 out of a possible 1,000 in the mass-market segment.
“The improved level of vehicle inventory and the easing of upward pressure on prices are the driving factors in sending sales satisfaction back in a positive direction,” J.D. Power Automotive Retail Vice President Chris Sutton claimed in a prepared statement. “Vehicle buyers are more satisfied with the inventory choices they now see in dealerships across the country – more than in the past three years. Increased inventory also means fewer buyers are paying more than the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) for their new vehicle.”
There were a few notable findings in this study, including:
- Smaller percentage of buyers paying above the quoted starting price
- As inventory levels continue to improve, many dealerships are finding it harder to justify prices above the starting MSRP. More specifically, only 15 percent of buyers paid above MSRP, which stands as a 25 percent decrease from 2022 levels. In regard to premium vehicles, this figure fell to 10 percent of buyers as compared to 19 percent a year ago.
- Price satisfaction continues to improve, but has yet to reach pre-pandemic levels
- Increasing inventory levels have led to moderating vehicle prices. However, customer satisfaction is still below pre-pandemic levels. To this point, buyers of mass market vehicles provide a rating of 8.04 (on a 10-point scale) for fairness of price paid vs. 8.14 in 2020.
- Notable gaps in salesperson expertise
- EV buyers demonstrated lower satisfaction than their ICE contemporaries. In fact, EV buyer perception regarding the expertise of the retailer staff results in a rating of 7.81 in comparison to 8.75 for perception of ICE staff expertise.
- Additional information wanted
- More than 30 percent of EV buyers would like additional information on their vehicle’s maintenance schedule, while seven percent want assistance setting up their home charging.