Ford has earned a number of distinctions for its sales network in recent months, including a fifth-place finish in the 2021 J.D. Power U.S. Dealer Financing Satisfaction Study and an above-average ranking in J.D. Power’s 2021 U.S. Sales Satisfaction Index Study. However, the semiconductor chip shortage and other pandemic-induced problems have driven prices to an entirely new level while incentives have fallen to record lows, which has the potential to change the way Ford sells cars forever. That includes a shift toward digital purchasing – which FoMoCo is expanding via a newly announced partnership with Stripe – and that’s something new car buyers are quite appreciative of, according to Cox Automotive.
This news comes to us from the 12th annual Cox Automotive Car Buyer Journey Study (CBJ), which reveals that overall, new car buyers are enjoying near-record levels of satisfaction in spite of low inventory levels, high prices, and few incentives. A total of 66 percent of buyers in 2021 were satisfied with their purchase, which is down from a record of 72 percent in 2020, while 75 percent said they were happy with their experience at the dealership. The 2021 CBJ study polled 2,976 U.S. consumers who bought or leased a new or used vehicle between September 2020 and August 2021.
Cox Automotive attributes much of this surge in satisfaction to digital buying, as those that completed the process online were reportedly more satisfied than those who did things the old-fashioned way, saving around 30 minutes, on average, versus those that went to a physical dealership to complete the financing process. Additionally, digital buyers were more satisfied with the price they paid and had more trust that the dealership or retailer gave them the best deal.
“Despite external market factors that dealers cannot control, the car buying experience remains amazingly good,” said Vanessa Ton, senior manager of research and market intelligence, Cox Automotive. “Dealers have done a great job adapting to what consumers wanted during the pandemic and have permanently evolved the car buying journey in a personalized way that results in very high satisfaction even when consumers are contending with historically low inventory and record-high prices.”