Dubai: The Land Rover range had the highest sales satisfaction ratings among luxury automotive brands in the UAE, followed by BMW and Infiniti, based on the authoritative J.D. Power rankings.

Among mass-market car brands, Kia came in tops on the satisfaction front, edging ahead of Ford and Nissan.

The Index is based on customer feedback related to the dealership facility, the delivery process, the sales personnel involved in the transaction, the time taken on completing the paperwork, the working out of the nitty-gritty of the deal, and the dealership’s website.

The findings also include a “Net Promoter Score”, which measures vehicle owners’ likelihood to recommend their vehicle brand on a 0-10 point-scale. In all, responses from 2,083 buyers who purchased or leased their new vehicle between March through November were taken in to decide the rankings.

“As the path to new vehicle purchases increasingly relies on online sources, it is imperative for manufacturers and dealerships to design websites that feature the required information sought by buyers and are easy to navigate across multiple devices,” said Shantanu Majumdar, Regional Director Automotive Practice at J.D. Power. “Given that word of mouth plays a strong role in influencing purchase decisions, dealerships that can actively manage their reputation online stand a better chance to enhance their retail experience, and ultimately, win new customers.”

Not surprisingly, vehicle pricing, followed by specs, the warranty, sale promotions and dealer information were the most-cited information searched for by vehicle buyers online. Nearly one-fifth of customers visit their dealer’s website, and 68 per cent of new-vehicle buyers who shopped online contacted their dealership over the phone, email or text before their visit.

This was to source information on vehicle pricing, features, dealership stock and available finance options — “information that should have been made available on the dealership website”, according to J.D. Power. “Buyers who shop online report lower satisfaction scores than those who do not (840 vs. 850, respectively, on a 1,000-point scale).”