Honda and Mitsubishi rank highest in a tie with new vehicle sales and delivery in the Philippines, according to the JD Power Asia Pacific 2004 Philippines Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study.

The Philippines SSI Study is based on evaluations from more than 1,200 new-vehicle buyers who were surveyed at two to six months of ownership. The study identifies six factors that contribute to overall customer satisfaction with the sales experience. In order of importance: salesperson, paperwork, delivery process, delivery timing, deal and dealer facility.

Honda and Mitsubishi rank highest in a tie, each recording an SSI score of 844 points out of a maximum of 1,000. Honda leads the industry in three out of the six factors: dealer facility, deal and delivery process. With an 8-point improvement over 2003, Honda gains in rank from fifth to first place.

Mitsubishi registers a three-point year-over-year increase and improves from fourth rank in 2003. Mitsubishi also leads the industry on three factors: dealer facility, salesperson and delivery timing.

The study finds that Philippines new-vehicle buyers are sensitive to delivery time. Customers who did not receive their vehicle at the promised time record SSI scores that average 91 points below the industry average, while customers compelled to accept an inconvenient delivery time post SSI scores 51 points below the industry average.

The number of customers reporting better than expected delivery time has fallen 6% points - from 38% in 2003 to 32% in 2004. Both Honda and Mitsubishi perform well in managing customer expectation of delivery time, as the percentage of their customers reporting better than expected delivery time is higher than the industry average.

The study finds that higher implementation of service standards at the time of delivery - activities that are performed by the dealership either during or after the service event - yields higher SSI scores. The implementation rate of these service standards has improved over 2003; delivering a new vehicle with both the exterior and interior clean and undamaged are now implemented by almost all makes. Other sales activities that have a positive impact on sales satisfaction include promptness in greeting customers, offering a test drive and providing a pressure-free and problem-free purchase experience.

The study also reveals that customers who report higher satisfaction with the sales and delivery process of buying a new vehicle are more inclined to repurchase and recommend the same make.

Among the most satisfied customers - those recording SSI scores above 930 points - almost one-half (49%) indicate that they would definitely repurchase the same make. In contrast, only 26% of the least satisfied customers - those recording SSI scores below 770 points - would repurchase the same make.