National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa
Leading Authority and information provider for the South African Motor Industry


Local Vehicle Owners Rate Industry “Excellent” in Benchmark Survey

Johannesburg, 25th February 2002:
Local motor vehicle owners are reaping the rewards as fierce competition for the top positions in the automotive industry’s benchmark survey, the Proactive Competitive Customer Satisfaction Index, spurs manufacturers and dealers on to excellent service.

The 2001 Proactive CCSI, released this week, shows an industry average customer satisfaction level when purchasing a new motor vehicle of 88,7%, compared to 85,7% two years ago. Servicing a vehicle is typically more of a grudge track changes, yet the local industry still scored at an international level 77,7% satisfaction rate in the workshop area.

“Simply put, this means the typical South African motorist rates his/her dealership as either ‘excellent’ or ‘good’. This is a very strong vote of confidence,” says Proactive Marketing Research managing director and survey leader Albert McLean.

The Proactive CCSI is conducted telephonically among about 26 000 vehicle owners. These respondents are drawn from a pool of all new vehicle owners and all people who had their vehicles serviced at a franchised dealer. Professional, full-time operators conduct all Proactive surveys from South Africa’s largest outbound call centre.

According to McLean, exceptionally tight competition and excellent results were the hallmarks of the 2001 Proactive CCSI, which measured customer satisfaction over the full preceding twelve months. BMW and Toyota finished neck-in-neck in the category for customer satisfaction when servicing a passenger vehicle, with the German manufacturer taking the laurels by the narrowest of margins. BMW and Toyota scored 80,2% and 80,1% respectively. “This is proof that BMW and Toyota owners in South Africa can rely on their franchised dealers with absolute confidence when servicing their vehicles,” McLean says.

Toyota did, however, retain the top position in all three other categories. Mazda came a very close second in the category for satisfaction with the “purchasing experience”, Ford took silver on the showroom floor for light commercial vehicles and Isuzu led the pack that trailed Toyota by 4% in the category for satisfaction “with the servicing experience” of a light commercial vehicle.
The Proactive CCSI is conducted on an ongoing basis and results are issued twice a year and endorsed by the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa).

“The latest Proactive CCSI shows the competition for the hearts and wallets of consumers is fierce – the top 10 performers in the category measuring satisfaction when purchasing new passenger vehicles are separated by less than two percentage points. This healthy rivalry has underpinned a steady increase in industry-wide customer satisfaction over the past two years,” says Proactive Albert McLean Managing Director of Proactive Marketing Research.

He pointed out that at least in terms of customer satisfaction when purchasing new vehicles, the local industry could rival the best in the world. “The differences among nameplates in customer satisfaction when servicing vehicles are slightly larger than on the showroom floors and generally about 10% lower, which is not out of line with international experience, either. But there is slightly more room for improvement in this area.”

The Proactive CCSI is the largest survey of its kind in South Africa and has built its reputation as industry benchmark over more than a decade. It is conducted with the cooperation of all the large manufacturers and distributors and its results help form the basis of industry strategies. A major accounting firm audits the findings of the survey, while the University of the Witwatersrand has certified the survey’s methodological veracity.

Issued on behalf of Proactive Marketing Research by Fleishman-Hillard.

For further information, please contact:
Albert McLean             Proactive                 (011) 709-7800
Dirk van Eeden         Fleishman-Hillard     (011) 548-2000


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