Shantanu Nandi Majumdar, Director at J.D. Power.

Elaborate upon the survey as a first for the commercial vehicle industry. What were the various factors kept into consideration?

The CV segment was covered for the first time in the 2017 study to offer the industry a holistic view on dealer satisfaction levels in India. It has been a long standing request from FADA, who have supported us since 2011 from the time the study was first undertaken. There are both similarities and differences across segments, in the way business is approached. The overall dealer satisfaction is determined by examining nine factors that include marketing and sales activities, products, vehicle ordering and delivery, sales team, parts, warranty claims,after-sales team, training, and manufacturer support.

How different is the satisfaction among the CV dealerships based on their expectations from the manufacturer?

At J.D. Power, we are of the firm belief that satisfaction is not only dependent of expectations, but also a dependent of the actual delivery of each of the metrics that impact dealer satisfaction. The Dealer Satisfaction Index (DSI) for the CV segment is 773. We believe that the DSWAMI study provides a platform for dealers and OEMs to come together, and interact in a constructive manner so as to improve upon their business relationships, and the overall satisfaction levels.

What percentage of dealerships expect to generate a profit in this fiscal year (2017-18), and what percentage of dealers anticipate a loss?

More than half (51 per cent) of CV dealerships expect to be profitable in this fiscal year, with only 15 per cent of the dealers anticipating to make a loss.

What according you needs immediate attention from a manufacturer perspective when it comes to addressing dealership problems?

Marketing and sales activities are an area of weakness. It has the lowest overall score as per the study. One-fourth of commercial vehicle dealers indicated their disappointment with a variety of sales promotions (26 per cent), and dealer advertising allowance (27 per cent). Dealers will benefit from additional support offered to them by OEMs. Another area of concerns is the need for faster settlement of claims.

What are the concentrated efforts needed from CV manufacturers in a bid to lower system discrepancies?

Dealers have raised concerns in the past about delays and discrepancies in terms of vehicle and parts ordering. Ensuring that dealers are kept informed of any issues in the concerned areas is a key to lower discrepancy. OEMs additionally need to review their support systems and determine the need for any upgrade.

What is the impact of digitization on auto sales and how can dealers best leverage it?

The growing number of digital touch-points is reflective of the growing consumption of Internet by the Indian consumer. Most brands are developing, and regularly updating their social media platforms (namely Facebook and Twitter) as additional access points in a bid to reach out to their consumers. Social media campaigns and webcasts can prove particularly beneficial when it comes to launching new products. While some of the larger dealerships in the country have already initiated such interactive relationships with consumers, others could potentially benefit with a higher degree of OEM support.

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