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(Geneva, Switzerland, March 15, 2012) – Warranty systems require continuous improvement and must be consistent across processes and procedures, while ensuring people-based activities (i.e. hotlines, field force, etc.) support these efforts to ensure that the dealers are satisfied and motivated, shows the recent, first-ever multi-country European research among over 1,500 automotive dealers in France, Germany, Italy and the UK, performed by SGS. The results of this unique industry study will enable those responsible for warranties at vehicle manufacturers to understand their brand’s position compared to the competition for the first time on an international basis.

The study suggests that warranty systems need to be evaluated as they mature, and OEMs must consider where they are in terms of administration systems development, active business management and development of their dealer networks, the study concludes.

Premium dealers are happiest with their OEM’s warranty systems. Taking into consideration the fact that Premium brand dealers handle the most difficult customers with the highest expectations and the highest levels of repair cost per vehicle this result is unusual. Warranty cost management is an issue for Premium OEMs and there are indications that a well thought through system, with a clear focus on dealer and customer satisfaction, is driving this overall high level of appreciation of the service.

73% of dealers in Italy find warranty administration simple – the highest rating out of all the countries surveyed, followed by UK, France and Germany, where dealers are much more sceptic (51%).

“The best performing OEMs continuously maintain and develop their warranty systems and make them enablers for their dealers in the customer paid after-sales business”, says Roland Gagel, SGS expert for the auto dealer sector and initiator of the study. “They apply the warranty toolbox and move their dealer towards more responsibility.”

The dealers that find the warranty administration of their OEM complicated mainly dislike Warranty Audits. It seems that audits are often perceived as not helping the dealer. Hence, the audit concepts should be subject for an OEM review to make them more supportive of their business and not a dissatisfaction point. 

Concerning the dealers’ requirements for future improvements, it is clear that they want more empowerment and more personal contact by either phone or by the field force. “The study finding that policy empowerment almost eliminates unsatisfied dealers is, therefore, no surprise”, concludes Gagel.  

About the SGS Automotive Dealer Warranty Survey

 
In the first ever multi-country warranty satisfaction survey for the automotive industry, the business areas of sales, after-sales and warranty have been intensively researched. The survey was conducted on more than 1,500 dealers over 17 brands in four countries including Germany, Italy, United Kingdom and France. The detailed results of this unique industry study will enable those responsible for warranties at vehicle manufacturers to understand their brand’s position compared to the competition. It gives a clear benchmark for the warranty controlling processes of hotlines, field force and audits. The survey, conducted between March and May 2012, indicates overall satisfaction with the ease of warranty handling, goodwill policies and extended warranty programmes.
 
The more comprehensive study results, excluding the brand-specific answers are available in the SGS white paper library

SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 70,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,350 offices and laboratories around the world. We are constantly looking beyond customers’ and society’s expectations in order to deliver market leading services wherever they are needed.

SGS can support you in the goals of ensuring dealer franchise satisfaction during the warranty control process by using our experience in the automotive industry and benchmarking to best practices. We deliver results and analysis in a concise, clear and meaningful format; and make recommendations for action plans on any issues arising with dealers to ensure the improvement of your business.

Partnering with SGS opens the door to better performing processes, increasingly skilful talent, consistent and compliant supply chains and more sustainable customer relationships delivering profitable competitive advantage. Work with the global leader and take your commitment to the next level.

We have a history of undertaking and successfully executing large-scale, complex international projects across diverse industries, including the automotive sector. With a presence in every single region around the globe, our people speak the language and understand the culture of the local market, and we operate globally in a consistent, reliable and effective manner.

For more details, please contact:

Roland Gagel 
Business Development Manager
t: +49-172-7648658

Oliver Haupt
Senior Business Analyst Warranty
t: +49-6127-74873810

Outi Armstrong
VP Marketing SGS
t: +41-22-7399161

About SGS

SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With 70,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,350 offices and laboratories around the world.