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Audi Ranks As Top Dealer Experience While Tesla Fares Poorly

Study / 16 Comments

Dealership experience is a big part of buying a new car.

When it comes to buying a car, there are lots of annoyances that can make for a painful experience. The way a dealership treats you can sometimes make or break the car buying experience, either enticing you to purchase a vehicle you may otherwise not have, or turning customers off of a brand completely. For the 12th year in a row, a company called Pied Piper PSI has conducted its US Auto Industry Benchmarking Study "In-Person." The study aims to show how helpful dealerships are for customers by measuring real response times and information.

Pied Pier PSI sent out anonymous "mystery car-shoppers" to visit 3,466 dealerships throughout the country and score each of them on how helpful they were. For 2018, Audi finished at the top for several key reasons. Audi salespeople were most likely to ask customers questions about how their vehicle would be used, provide a walkaround demonstration comparing the cars to the competition, and ask followup questions to determine customer needs and explain why their specific dealership is deserving of their business.

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Audi was followed by Lexus, Toyota, Mercedes-Benz, Infiniti, Ram, Buick, Jaguar, Land Rover, Nissan, Acura, BMW, Cadillac, Kia, Lincoln, Mini, Chevrolet, GMC, and Hyundai, who were all above the industry average. Tesla finished last in the survey for the second year in a row, mainly because the company doesn't use a traditional dealership model. Instead, Tesla has showrooms that are meant to show off a product without pushing hard to sell it. Some buyers may like Tesla's laid-back sales approach, but it clearly doesn't help the company score well in surveys like this one.