The 2018 study threw up some interesting results.
Last year, Lincoln took the number one spot in J.D. Power's annual Sales Satisfaction Index Study in the luxury market. While this surprised some people, Lincoln had no doubt it could offer customers the best overall sales experience. Despite the continued mass investment from parent company Ford, Lincoln lost the top spot in this year's annual study. Porsche came out on top for 2018, earning 828 points on a 1,000-point scale up from 818 points last year, which was enough to bump it up from fourth to first place.
"This achievement is the result of a customer-focused strategy that has been superbly executed by our 190 US dealer partners," said Klaus Zellmer, President and CEO of Atlanta-based Porsche Cars North America, Inc. "First and foremost, this award is for our dedicated dealers, who have invested significant time in training for their employees and committed $500 million to improving facilities in just the last five years."
As for Lincoln, it didn't even finish in second place, but rather tied with Cadillac in fifth with a score of 814 points – a 16-point drop. Meanwhile, Infiniti came in second with 824 points, up by three from 2017, and Lexus came in third with 823 points. The industry average was 804 points. In last place was Genesis with 736 points.
As for mass market brands, it was Mini that came out on top. Yes, really. We were surprised, too. Based on the same 1,000-point scale, Mini earned 798 points, just one point higher than GMC. Buick and Chevrolet tied for third with 792 points, Ford was in fourth with 788 points, followed by Subaru with 776 points. Last place? You just gotta know, right? Of course. That would be Kia, with 737 points, about the same as Genesis.
J.D. Power's 2018 study also found out that general satisfaction was typically higher among owners who communicated with salespeople by text message, email, or phone call as opposed to face-to-face communication. The study found that texting was used 21 percent and 15 percent of the time by luxury and mass-market dealers, respectively.
"These aren't apples-to-apples comparisons by any means, but the scores are clear indicators of where shoppers and buyers are going, especially as the consumer base gains a larger mix of younger customers," said Chris Sutton, vice president of the automotive retail practice at J.D. Power. Based on this, chances are you're dealership will be more than happy to text with you while negotiating your next car purchase.