SHANGHAI -- Owners gave Volkswagen AG's Audi brand top grades for its handling of the car-buying experience at the dealership -- significantly ahead of Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz and BMW AG's core brand, according to an annual survey by J.D. Power.
The survey of Chinese vehicle owners uses seven factors to evaluate each brand: the delivery process, the timing of the vehicle delivery, the dealership facility, the salesperson, the paperwork, the actual sales transaction, and the initial sales contact.
On a scale of 1,000, Audi ranked highest with a score of 887. Dongfeng Nissan placed second with a score of 880, followed by FAW-Volkswagen, Dongfeng Honda and GAC Toyota. BMW finished in 12th place, while Mercedes-Benz was 15th.
International brands took the top 18 spots; FAW Car was the top domestic brand in 19th place.
The average score was 847, up 24 points from the previous year and a record high for China's automakers. J.D. Power did not publish scores for brands that scored below the industry average.
J.D. Power interviewed 11,496 car buyers two to six months after they purchased their vehicle. The survey was conducted in 37 major cities, and included 57 brands.
Audi continues to be the dominant luxury brand in the world's largest market with sales of 140,699 cars in China in the first half, 28 percent more than in the first half of 2010. In contrast, BMW Group's six-month sales in China jumped 61 percent to 121,614 vehicles, while Mercedes and its Smart brand sold 92,174 units in China in the first half, up 52 percent from the same period last year.
Here is J.D. Power's list of above-average brands:
Dongfeng Nissan: 880
Dongfeng Honda: 866
GAC Toyota: 866
Guangqi Honda: 863
SGMW Chevrolet: 863
Dongfeng Citroen: 861
Beijing Hyundai: 859
Dongfeng Yueda Kia: 859
SGM Chevrolet: 858
Dongfeng Peugeot: 855
Changan Mazda: 853
Shanghai VW: 852
FAW Car: 849
Industry average: 847