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BRIEFLY / AUTOS

Saturn Returns to Top in Satisfaction Survey

August 11, 2000|Reuters

General Motors Corp.'s Saturn division, known for its no-haggle pricing policy, reclaimed the top spot in a customer sales satisfaction survey. Saturn rebounded from a drop to sixth place from first place last year to grab top honors in the annual J.D. Power & Associates survey, placing ahead of GM's Cadillac luxury brand and Toyota Motor Corp.'s Lexus, which tied for second, and Nissan Motor Co.'s Infiniti, in third. Saturn and some of the other brands that topped the survey may ironically have scored so well because their sales growth has been slower than competitors', J.D. Power said. "When demand increases, dealers often become less willing to negotiate [price], which creates a negative impact on virtually all aspects of the sales process," said Chris Denove, a partner with the Agoura Hills-based marketing information services firm. "Strong sales also often result in delays in taking delivery." Car makers with lower scores had sales increase an average of 45% from the survey period last year, and those whose scores climbed had only a 12% increase in sales on average, J.D. Power said.

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