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ACCORDING TO J.D. POWER AND ASSOCIATES 1993 SALES SATISFACTION STUDY CONSUMERS INDICATE VEHICLE SALE RESTS WITH THE SALESPERSON

 AGOURA HILLS, Calif., June 17 /PRNewswire/ -- The J.D. Power and Associates 1993 Sales Satisfaction Study(SM) (SSI) reveals that the beginning of a customer's relationship with new car and truck brands is primarily driven by the customer's treatment by the retail salesperson.
 Key findings from the 1993 New Car Sales Satisfaction Study reveal that the individual salesperson's role in the overall sales experience as well as dealership customer handling skills continue to be responsible for 70 percent of what satisfies customers. Of those respondents who purchased from other than the most conveniently located retailer, more than 40 percent did so because of the way they were treated by salespeople at the first dealership. Additionally, those customers who left the most convenient retailer because of salesperson issues, traveled an average of 20 additional miles to another dealership selling the same brand.
 Topping the ranks according to new car and truck owners with a record-high score in the seventh year of this study, is Infiniti, Nissan's luxury division, as Best Overall Carline. Oldsmobile, a relatively new player in the light truck market, ranks as Best Overall Truckline, with a 15-point improvement from last year.
 "A story is developing in this vehicle owner assessment of showroom experiences, mainstream Japanese nameplates consistently lag the industry average," stated J.D. Power III, president and founder of J.D. Power and Associates. "In light of recent product quality improvements seen in other J.D. Power and Associates studies, this type of showroom experience weakness has to be taken as a warning. Just taking orders is not what shoppers want, they are looking for better treatment overall."
 For both car and light truck retailers, the importance of sales satisfaction to consumers reaches far beyond the point of sale. J.D. Power and Associates data indicates a compelling relationship between sales satisfaction and consumer word-of-mouth recommendations. Not surprisingly, nameplates that perform in the top ranks garner more positive recommendations (about both the vehicle and the dealership) than below-industry average nameplates.
 For 1993, Infiniti is the Best Overall Carline in Sales Satisfaction. Infiniti's index score of 153 is a record high for the seven-year-old study. Lincoln, which registers an 18-point improvement over last year, ranks second with an index score of 152. Last year's Best Overall Carline in Sales Satisfaction, Lexus, shares third place and an index score of 151 with Cadillac and Saturn.
 In all, 16 car nameplates rank above this year's industry average of 121, which is a 5 percent improvement over the 1992 SSI industry average of 115.
 "Building long-term customer relationships begins with a positive showroom experience," said Mr. Power. "More customers were satisfied with that experience in 1993 than any other year studied, which is a real tribute to the changes happening at dealerships around the country."
 In the light truck study, Oldsmobile is the Best Overall Truckline in Sales Satisfaction. Oldsmobile's SSI score of 132 represents a 15-point improvement for the nameplate over last year and sets a new SSI light truck record. In the light truck study, which is based on responses from owners of either compact or full-size pickups, sport utilities, or vans, GMC ranks second and Ford third. Chevrolet, which ranked as the Best Overall Truckline in Sales Satisfaction in 1992, experiences a two-point deficit from last year, and thus slips into a fourth place tie with Pontiac.
 The 1993 J.D. Power and Associates New Car and Light Truck Sales Satisfaction Studies(SM) are an independently-funded assessment of consumer opinion with the sales and new vehicle delivery experience. More than 45,000 consumer respondents evaluated the performance of their salesperson, the initial product condition of their vehicle and delivery activities pertaining to their purchase of 1993 model-year cars and light trucks.
 J.D. Power and Associates is an international marketing information firm with headquarters in Agoura Hills, and offices in Detroit; Westport, Conn.; Torrance, Calif.; Palo Alto, Calif.; and Tokyo. The firm is best known for its marketing information consulting and measurement expertise in the areas of consumer opinion and customer satisfaction.
 -0- 6/17/93
 /CONTACT: Patricia A. Patano or Jim Olson, 818-889-6330, both of J.D. Power and Associates/


CO: J.D. Power and Associates ST: California IN: AUT SU:

EH-CC -- LA026 -- 3188 06/17/93 14:31 EDT
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Date:Jun 17, 1993
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