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Dave Power passed away of natural causes at 89 at his home in California.

I got my career in automotive research started at JD Power 23 years ago. Dave was a great guy.

May his soul Rest In Peace.

 

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Interesting that Toyota thought he was a spy for the American companies and the American companies hated that he pointed out their lack of quality.

Just as we see similar denial of DATA on these forums, Power faced denial from the industry that had a difficult time accepting his DATA.
 

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While I hope he does rest in peace (and I am dead serious about that), I'm also glad to read that the so called "most reliable brand of all time" also didn't trust him at one point in time.
There's something awfully funny about that, is all 😂 😂 😂
 

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Yeah, Toyota and JDPA never had a warm and fuzzy relationship. It all started when JDPA took credit for turning Toyota into a household name in N.A. It was a slap on the face of all the Toyota staff that worked so hard.

Toyota likes to establish a very close working relationship with its suppliers, something JDPA was unwilling to do given its role as industry arbiter.

It didn't help that JDPA presentations lacked depth; they tended to gloss over at the industry level. The one exception being the quality surveys JDPA developed (IQS and VDS): they remain the industry standard to this day. But despite all the publicity it gave to its Sales Satisfaction study (SSI), JDPA was unable to demonstrate that a happy purchase experience translates into anything tangible for the automaker years down the road.

In Toyota's mind, customer retention starts at the dealership. Toyota is the only automaker that actively encourages customers to establish a close relationship with their local dealership, instead of driving hundreds of miles to go buy a vehicle. Toyota gives its dealers all the necessary training and tools to retain their customers. Of course, at the end of the day some are better at it than others.
 

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In Toyota's mind, customer retention starts at the dealership. Toyota is the only automaker that actively encourages customers to establish a close relationship with their local dealership, instead of driving hundreds of miles to go buy a vehicle. Toyota gives its dealers all the necessary training and tools to retain their customers. Of course, at the end of the day some are better at it than others.
And yet, our local Toyota dealership is just as crappy as our local Stellantis dealership... (I drive past two dealerships to get to the one I use).
 

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And yet, our local Toyota dealership is just as crappy as our local Stellantis dealership... (I drive past two dealerships to get to the one I use).
No doubt. But in the aggregate, Toyota dealers perform much better than CDJRF
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No doubt. But in the aggregate, Toyota dealers perform much better than CDJRF
As I say to others, I say to myself: one data point is not data, it's an anecdote.
 

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I'd like to know how the Fiat dealers, with their dedicated showrooms and specially picked, carefully specified materials, managed to come dead last, as though people matter more than furnishings.
 

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I'd like to know how the Fiat dealers, with their dedicated showrooms and specially picked, carefully specified materials, managed to come dead last, as though people matter more than furnishings.
It is a super-intelligent way to position a "premium brand" that us stupid members cannot understand. /sarcasm

Seriously, if you talk to the Fiat studio dealers, they will fill your ears with their anger at the company.
 
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As I say to others, I say to myself: one data point is not data, it's an anecdote.
Buick is #1 on that list, but from my experiences at our dealer I can’t imagine why. They’re not as bad as the CDJR dealers, but on par with our Ford dealer. Just call me Captain Anecdote! :D
 
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Buick is #1 on that list, but from my experiences at our dealer I can’t imagine why. They’re not as bad as the CDJR dealers, but on par with our Ford dealer. Just call me Captain Anecdote! :D
If we went by anecdote, I'd rate every brand last. They ALL stink around here. Well... the two Mazda dealers I went to were both nice, but I didn't buy from them or have anything serviced, so it's hard to tell. Subaru place seemed nice but they played the “no added fees... oh, that $500 extra, that's not a fee, that's a charge” game. Local Local Toyota places are pretty bad. Local Volvo dealers seem to be crooks. Not a lot of good dealers in this region.
 

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If we went by anecdote, I'd rate every brand last. They ALL stink around here. Well... the two Mazda dealers I went to were both nice, but I didn't buy from them or have anything serviced, so it's hard to tell. Subaru place seemed nice but they played the “no added fees... oh, that $500 extra, that's not a fee, that's a charge” game. Local Local Toyota places are pretty bad. Local Volvo dealers seem to be crooks. Not a lot of good dealers in this region.
It’s a shame. You’ll get a lot more business out of me if you treat me right. If I feel you’re playing games or the customer service sucks, then you get nothing. And I’m a pretty easy customer, I’m not looking to haggle much, I go in with a price I’m comfortable with...which is the listed price of the vehicle. If I can get discounts, then fine. If not, it’s not the end of the world. If I absolutely need the discounts to afford a vehicle, then it’s not the vehicle for me. And I know they need to make money too.

I don’t know why that’s so hard for dealerships (and many businesses) to understand. The money you invest in customer service training will pay for itself through the initial customer contact and through retention. Of course you have to ensure the training is absorbed and there is appropriate buy-in from staff, and effective leadership that fosters a healthy workplace environment...it’s definitely a team effort.

When we were shopping for our latest purchase, the GMC dealer seemed to be going through the motions. The CDJR dealer was better, but I wouldn’t rate them great...not the most friendly, but not nasty. The Ford dealer was the best, by far...they treated us like family. It probably helped that we did business with them before, though it was 10 years prior when we bought the Mustang. We did get the same salesman who did remember us. I had been to the CDJR dealer...a lot...over the years, but it was on the service side for my Liberty. My experiences over there ran very hot or cold.
 
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You’ll get a lot more business out of me if you treat me right. If I feel you’re playing games or the customer service sucks, then you get nothing.
We walked out of the local Toyota dealership because of this. At the time we were trying to help our oldest get a replacement vehicle. The salesman simply didn't listen and began playing games. As we had our younger children with us as well and they were beginning to fuss (hungry), we used them as an excuse to leave.

When we were shopping for our latest purchase, the GMC dealer seemed to be going through the motions. The CDJR dealer was better, but I wouldn’t rate them great...not the most friendly, but not nasty. The Ford dealer was the best, by far...they treated us like family. It probably helped that we did business with them before, though it was 10 years prior when we bought the Mustang. We did get the same salesman who did remember us. I had been to the CDJR dealer...a lot...over the years, but it was on the service side for my Liberty. My experiences over there ran very hot or cold.
The CDJR dealer we've bought from is okay. We've bought three vehicles from them. My only observation is we never were served by the same salesman. They seemed to have a fairly hefty turnover. Service side has seen a fair amount of turnover with regards to the service writers. I only recognize one that was there when I purchased my Ram in 2006. The rest are new.

The best sales service we've experienced was with CarMax. Wife found a vehicle ('14 Equinox) she really liked online only it was at a site further away. She called CarMax. They said, "No problem, we'll have it shipped to the site closest to you and we'll put a seven day hold on it." We went up and looked at it after they called and said it was at the nearest site. We went up and looked at it. Test drive? No problem. Told them I was working on financing through our local credit union and waiting on the insurance check. "No problem, we'll hold it for you." Few days later I had the funds ready and made the transaction. Just some papers to sign and we were done.

On the other hand, when we made the purchases at the CDJR dealer it seemed to go on for hours. Part of it was waiting on loan approval.
 

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We walked out of the local Toyota dealership because of this. At the time we were trying to help our oldest get a replacement vehicle. The salesman simply didn't listen and began playing games. As we had our younger children with us as well and they were beginning to fuss (hungry), we used them as an excuse to leave.



The CDJR dealer we've bought from is okay. We've bought three vehicles from them. My only observation is we never were served by the same salesman. They seemed to have a fairly hefty turnover. Service side has seen a fair amount of turnover with regards to the service writers. I only recognize one that was there when I purchased my Ram in 2006. The rest are new.

The best sales service we've experienced was with CarMax. Wife found a vehicle ('14 Equinox) she really liked online only it was at a site further away. She called CarMax. They said, "No problem, we'll have it shipped to the site closest to you and we'll put a seven day hold on it." We went up and looked at it after they called and said it was at the nearest site. We went up and looked at it. Test drive? No problem. Told them I was working on financing through our local credit union and waiting on the insurance check. "No problem, we'll hold it for you." Few days later I had the funds ready and made the transaction. Just some papers to sign and we were done.

On the other hand, when we made the purchases at the CDJR dealer it seemed to go on for hours. Part of it was waiting on loan approval.
Our purchase for our Explorer took a few hours, part of that may have been loan approval...not sure. There was another customer, who wasn’t expected until later in the morning, but he showed up at the same time as us. But they had additional personnel chipping in to get things done and to see if we needed anything. We had to bring our kids, 5 year old twins, and they had no problem with that. They set the kids and my wife up at a table in the back of the showroom with snacks and gift bags with crayons and coloring books...even some posters too. It was fun, like buying a car from family...that’s just how it felt.

I wonder if I could purchase a Jeep from them...the salesman at the CDJR dealer said he could’ve shown me the Explorer, but since I had already made an appointment he didn’t want to step on anyone’s toes. The dealership is owned by the same group. Still, I thought it was nice of him to offer. Like I said, the salespeople at the CDJR dealer weren’t bad, Ford had to work to beat them. Like the Durango I saw (SXT Plus)...a really good vehicle, my wife and I were more impressed with our specific Explorer (XLT).

And just to be clear, I‘m not gushing over Ford. I’m just using that experience to illustrate how things can be...to make it a positive experience for the customer. We felt like they wanted our business, and made us feel more than welcome. As is said, it’s not what people say or do that you will necessarily remember, but you will definitely remember how they made you feel. It’s true.
 

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I have had two Toyota dealers and two Honda dealers play the “this car is hot, you have to pay list price” game on me, even as their online people sent me $3,000-off coupons in the mail. The Mazda dealer seemed reasonable but I didn't think the current Mazda3 was as nice as the prior-gen one, so never got to that point with them.

It's not training that's needed, IMHO, it's leading by example from the owner and general manager. If you have a traditional cut-throat structure, complete with commission-dominated comp, it won't work well.
 
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