Mercedes-Benz tops dealership rankings

July 13, 2011 12:00 AM

A recent study of dealership experiences for customers interested in buying vehicles has revealed that Mercedes-Benz dealers are at the top when it comes to customer satisfaction.

Mercedes topped the Pied Piper study for the third year in a row, beating out luxury automakers like Jaguar and Lexus. The survey uses more than 3,500 secret shoppers sent to dealerships across America. The shoppers are asked to rate each dealership based on their overall experience.

Luxury automakers tend to be placed near the top of the list. BMW, despite having the sales lead, finished behind the previously mentioned brands as well as their German rival Audi.

As for the non-luxury nameplates, Toyota and Chrysler's RAM pickup truck brand were rated as the best by customers. Chevrolet, Honda and Hyundai were also well-ranked.

The worst brands as deemed by the secret shoppers include Suzuki and Mitsubishi. For the luxury brands, Lincoln was rated the worst. In a rarity for a luxury brand, Lincoln actually fell below the industry average score.

Fran O'Hagen, CEO of Pied Piper, told Reuters that dealerships with high sales tend to rate more highly with secret shoppers than struggling companies. He theorizes that this is because of the talented salesmen at these dealerships, which is ultimately one of the most important factors for many buyers. 

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