New NADA Research Shows Slight Gain in Dealership Satisfaction with Dealer System Providers

Yet Fewer Dealership Personnel Would Recommend Their DSP Vendor

MCLEAN, Va. (Nov. 5, 2007) - New research from the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Information Technology (IT) Committee shows that dealership satisfaction with Dealer System Provider (DSP) vendors improved slightly from the 2005 survey.  DSP vendors develop and support dealership computer systems that assist dealers in managing their operations.

The study, conducted for NADA every two years by the automotive marketing research firm Friedman-Swift Associates in Cincinnati, Ohio, shows that 79 percent of dealership personnel are satisfied overall with their DSP vendors in 2007 versus 78 percent in 2005.  However, only 55 percent of dealership personnel in 2007 would recommend their DSP vendor to another dealership, a significant decrease from 64 percent in 2005.

“Industry-wide, the survey results for overall satisfaction of the DSP vendors did not increase significantly from the 2005 survey,” said Jim Tolkan, Bob Tolkan Buick/Pontiac/GMC Milwaukee, WI, and IT Committee chairman.  “However, one vendor did show significant improvement, while some others declined in satisfaction. The vendors indicated they had planned to address topics in the 2005 survey that received low satisfaction ratings, but the overall results show they didn't gain much traction on dealership satisfaction, nor customer service and training.”

The study shows that dealership satisfaction with DSP vendors is driven mainly by:

  • Customer Service - Key service drivers: Satisfaction with overall customer service and getting problems fixed correctly the first time.
  • System Functionality - Key functionality drivers:  Flexibility of system software to adapt to dealership's business needs and the ability to customize the software for dealership needs.
  • Training - Key training drivers: Overall effectiveness of technical training and its effectiveness compared to all associated costs.

“More dealers than in any previous survey told us they are planning to leave their current DSP vendor,” said Mark Rush, Ron Rush Lincoln Mercury, Columbus, Ohio.  “Almost every vendor experienced a significant decline in the likelihood their dealers would recommend them to a fellow dealer.”

For the survey, Friedman-Swift Associates conducted phone interviews with 995 dealership personnel including dealers and general managers, sales managers, service managers, parts managers, and office managers and controllers.  The study's margin of error is +/- 3 percent.