Back in March 2021, Lincoln placed fifth in the J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Customer Service Index Survey, ahead of rivals like Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Acura. Now, FoMoCo’s luxury arm has ranked above average on J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study, but far from first place it earned a year ago.
“Right now, it’s hard to see the light at the end of the supply chain tunnel, so dealerships need to continue to sell vehicles through their inbound pipeline and help customers with special orders,” said Chris Sutton, J.D. Power Vice President of Automotive Retail. “However, the silver lining for customers is that trade-in values remain high and this has had a positive effect on customer sales satisfaction.”
Entering its 36th year, the J.D. Power U.S. Sales Satisfaction Index Study measures satisfaction of the new vehicle purchase experience among buyers as well as rejecters, those who shop a dealership and end up buying elsewhere. J.D. Power collected responses between July and September 2021 from 35,387 buyers and lessees who brought home a new vehicle between March and May 2021.
Netting a score of 813, Lincoln placed fifth in the premium segment in the 2021 U.S. SSI study, behind Porsche (833), Infiniti (825), Lexus (820), and Cadillac (814). The score is ahead of the segment average of 807, as well as those of rivals Mercedes-Benz (810) and BMW (809). The results are a departure from Lincoln’s performance in the same study in 2020, when it placed first among premium auto brands.
One of the study’s key findings links buyer satisfaction to being able to purchase or lease a new vehicle without visiting a dealership.
“The ‘Amazon effect’ of seeing, buying and having a product delivered to your doorstep has made its way into vehicle buying and it is here to stay,” Sutton added. In 2020, Lincoln worked with its dealer body to launch its remote sales platform under the Lincoln Showcase banner. The platform gives customers the opportunity to book a virtual walk-around of a given model – such as the 2020 Lincoln Aviator and Lincoln Corsair, then purchase and arrange delivery of their new vehicle.
Lincoln’s performance in the 2021 SSI study follows a below average ranking in the 2021 J.D. Power Initial Quality Vehicle (IQS) study, along with another below-average result in the 2021 U.S. Tech Experience Index study.