Cars made in Britain are increasingly popular with customers in North America according to the latest JD Power and Associates 2010 US Sales Satisfaction Index.

Jaguar ranked the highest among luxury brands in satisfying customers with new-vehicle sales experience for a third consecutive year while Mini ranked top among mass market brands
 
J D Power says the manner in which customers are treated by the dealership is more important to overall new-vehicle buyer satisfaction than the actual transaction price.  
 
Its study is an analysis of the new-vehicle purchase experience with overall customer satisfaction measured across four factors: working out the deal (33%); salesperson (25%); delivery process (21%); and dealership facility (20%).
 
The study found 52% of new-vehicle buyers cite the way they are treated as a reason to purchase their new vehicle from a specific dealer. In comparison, 38% of buyers cited vehicle price or the deal offered as the reason for selecting their dealer.

Once the dealer is selected, the ease of coming to an agreement on the final vehicle price has the single-greatest influence on buyer satisfaction.

"The process of working out the deal is the primary indicator of whether new-vehicle buyers have a satisfactory purchase experience," said director of automotive research at JD Power and Associates Jon Osborn.

"While there are some buyers who enjoy the negotiation process, many find it to be the most unpleasant part of purchasing a new vehicle. It is particularly important for retailers to make this process as efficient and collaborative as possible, given its importance to overall satisfaction."
 
Jaguar performed particularly well in the salesperson and working out the deal factors. Cadillac and Mercedes-Benz followed in the luxury brand segment rankings. 
 
Mini did well in dealership facility, salesperson and delivery process. Mercury and GMC were second and third.

The study also found that 60% of new-vehicle buyers visit more than one dealership during the shopping process. While many dealers are rejected for not having a vehicle the buyers wanted to purchase, a significant number of buyers (18%) end showroom visits primarily due to poor customer treatment by salespeople.

Complaints included applying too much sales pressure and insufficient attention in equal proportion.

The survey also showed the internet continues to play an increasingly important role in the new-vehicle shopping process, with 79% of new-vehicle buyers using the web during the undertaking.

The 2010 US Sales Satisfaction Index Study is based on responses from 25,244 new-vehicle buyers who purchased or leased their new vehicle in May 2010.