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HMSI, Honda Siel top TNS dealer satisfaction survey

Our Bureau

New Delhi , Dec. 15

HONDA Motorcycle & Scooters (HMSI) and Honda Siel Cars (HSCI) rank highest in dealer satisfaction with their principals in the two- and four-wheeler industry segments, respectively, according to the findings of the `2004 Dealer Satisfaction Study' released on Wednesday by market research agency TNS.

The study represents the responses of more than 1,200 two- and four-wheeler dealers to the key areas of product, management relationship, profit and margin, order and delivery, sales and marketing activities, after-sales and parts support, warranty, sales representatives, after-sales representatives, and training support, TNS said in a statement here.

Rankings for the study are done at the industry segment-level to provide comparisons among similar groups of dealers.

The manufacturers ranking highest in their respective industry segments for dealer satisfaction are Honda Motorcycle & Scooters India (Pvt) Ltd followed by Hero Honda and Bajaj Auto in the two-wheeler segment. It is Honda Siel Cars India Ltd followed by Toyota Kirloskar Motor and Hyundai in the four-wheeler segment.

"The industry average score of 63 reflects a relatively low level of dealer commitment and indicates that dealers are vulnerable to defection. Four-wheeler dealers register a much stronger commitment score than two-wheeler dealers and record a significant increase compared to the 2002 study," said Mr Rajeev Lochan, General Manager (Asia Pacific) of TNS Automotive.

Mr Lochan said while Honda Motorcycle & Scooters ranks highest for the second consecutive time, Honda Siel's elevation to the segment-leading position is driven by a sharp increase in its dealer commitment ratings.

"The surge in sales since the introduction of the new Honda City and higher utilisation of service workshop capacity are the key drivers for this change since 2002," he said.

The study reveals that there are more `uninvolved' (neither satisfied nor committed) dealers than `partners' (both satisfied and committed) in the automotive industry. This is particularly true for the two-wheeler industry, which has a significantly low percentage of `partners'.

The key to building partners is to focus on the most critical areas that impact dealer satisfaction and commitment to the manufacturer.

Concern for dealer profitability, management relationship, sales and marketing support and product strengths are some of the critical areas.

"It is not surprising that dealers expect their principals to be concerned and supportive of their profitability. However, the study clearly reveals that dealers are equally concerned about other tactical issues such as branding, advertising effectiveness and support in managing warranty claims," Mr Lochan said.

The statement said the dealer satisfaction study was conducted from October through December 2004 covering 846 two-wheeler dealers across nine manufacturers and 392 four-wheeler dealers across eleven manufacturers.

It covered over 150 cities to comprehensively capture regional differences.

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