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MERCEDES-BENZ DEALERS RANKED HIGHEST BY 2014 PIED PIPER PSI(R)

MERCEDES-BENZ DEALERS RANKED HIGHEST BY 2014 PIED PIPER PSI(R)

July 2014

MONTEREY, CALIFORNIA – July 7, 2014 – Mercedes-Benz dealerships ranked highest in the newly released 2014 Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index(R) (PSI(R)) U.S. Auto Industry Benchmarking Study, which measured treatment of car-shoppers who visited 5,671 dealerships throughout the country. Study rankings by brand were determined by the patent-pending Pied Piper PSI process, which ties “mystery shopping” measurement and scoring to industry sales success. For the second consecutive year, Infiniti and Lexus dealerships, the luxury brands from Nissan and Toyota respectively, were ranked second and third.

Twenty-two of the thirty-four different auto brands led the industry in at least one PSI sales process category, while fifteen brands finished last in at least one category. Tesla dealerships, included in the study for the first time this year, led the industry in seven PSI sales process categories, such as involving the prospect with visual aids, and following-up after the visit. However, the Tesla dealerships also finished last in thirty-two categories, such as asking the prospect's name, offering a test ride, or mentioning the availability of financing options.

Brands showing the most improvement year-to-year were Scion, Mitsubishi, Mazda, Lincoln, Cadillac, Chrysler and Nissan. Brands with the greatest declines year-to-year were GMC, Jeep, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Chevrolet, Infiniti and Ram. Three brands have been consistently ranked within the top 10 brands over the past five years: Mercedes-Benz, Lexus and Jaguar.

Performance varied substantially by brand within some categories. For example, salespeople are often taught to try to build rapport and ask open-ended questions instead of just saying, “Can I help you?” Lincoln, Chrysler, Honda, Volvo and Fiat salespeople were least likely to start a shopper's visit by saying, “Can I help you?” In contrast, the salespeople most likely to ask, “Can I help you?” worked for Ford, Mazda, Ram, Scion and Chevrolet dealerships. Another example is whether or not the salesperson suggested sitting down at a desk; a step often used to transition from talking about the product to talking about buying the product. Salespeople from, Nissan, Hyundai, Ford and Kia dealerships were most likely to suggest sitting down at a desk, while Tesla, Mitsubishi, Volkswagen, Land Rover and Audi salespeople were least likely to make the suggestion.

Industry average dealership performance was mixed when comparing 2014 with the previous year.

Salesperson behaviors more likely in 2014 than 2013 include the following:

• Gave compelling reason to buy from this dealership (now 50% of the time)
• Discussed features unique from the competition (now 59% of the time)
• Mentioned maintenance program and associated costs (now 58% of the time)

Salesperson behaviors less likely in 2014 than 2013 include the following:

• Offered a brochure (now 50% of the time)
• Asked why prospect considered brand (now 60% of the time)
• Involved prospect with visual aids (now 36% of the time)

“Great products are the key to strong sales,” said Fran O'Hagan, President and CEO of Pied Piper Management Company LLC. “But the only way to make the most of a product's sales potential is a capable sales team, following a consistent sales process.” Pied Piper has found that on average, when auto dealerships are ranked by their PSI score, dealerships in the top quarter sell 16% more vehicles than the dealerships in the bottom quarter.

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Press Release: MERCEDES-BENZ, INFINITI AND LEXUS DEALERS RANKED HIGHEST BY 2013 PIED PIPER PSI(R)

Press Release: MERCEDES-BENZ, INFINITI AND LEXUS DEALERS RANKED HIGHEST BY 2013 PIED PIPER PSI(R)

July 2013

MONTEREY, CALIFORNIA – July 8, 2013 – Mercedes-Benz dealerships ranked highest in the newly released 2013 Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index(R) (PSI(R)) U.S. Auto Industry Benchmarking Study, which measured dealership treatment of car-shoppers. Study rankings by brand were determined by the patent-pending Pied Piper PSI process, which ties “mystery shopping” measurement and scoring to industry sales success. Infiniti and Lexus dealerships, the luxury brands from Nissan and Toyota respectively, finished ranked second and third.

Nineteen of the thirty-three different brands led at least one PSI sales process category, and performance varied by brand within each category. For example, Jaguar, Volvo and Audi salespeople were most likely to discuss features unique from the competition. Infiniti, Land Rover and smart salespeople were most likely to conduct a vehicle “walk-around” demonstration. Kia, Fiat and Hyundai salespeople were most likely to give compelling reasons to buy now.

Industry average dealership performance was mixed when comparing 2013 with the previous year.

Salesperson behaviors more likely in 2013 than 2012 include the following:
• Mentioning the availability of different finance or lease options (now 67% of the time)
• Asking about factors preventing purchase (now 71% of the time)
• Asking if the prospect has a trade-in (now 83% of the time)

Salesperson behaviors less likely in 2013 than 2012 include the following:
• Offering a brochure (now 52% of the time)
• Discussing features unique from the competition (now 55% of the time)
• Involving prospect with visual aids (now 38% of the time)

2013 marks the seventh consecutive year of Pied Piper PSI auto industry benchmarking studies. With seven years of data gathered from tens of thousands of auto PSI evaluations nationwide, Pied Piper was able to fine-tune the study questions, weightings and scoring for 2013. As a result, Pied Piper reset the 2013 auto industry average PSI score to “100.”

The resulting “second generation” PSI scoring is now even more closely correlated to auto dealership sales success. Pied Piper has found that on average, when auto dealerships are ranked by their PSI score, dealerships in the top quarter sell 16% more vehicles than the dealerships in the bottom quarter. “Any dealership faces plenty of challenges that are difficult, if not impossible, to change, such as product-line sold or dealership location,” said Fran O'Hagan, President and CEO of Pied Piper Management Company LLC. “In contrast, how a sales team sells is something a dealership can improve immediately.”

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Press Release: MERCEDES-BENZ DEALERS TOP RANKED BY 2012 PIED PIPER PROSPECT SATISFACTION INDEX(R) Treatment of car shoppers improves industry-wide; Highest industry average PSI score

Press Release: MERCEDES-BENZ DEALERS TOP RANKED BY 2012 PIED PIPER PROSPECT SATISFACTION INDEX(R)
Treatment of car shoppers improves industry-wide; Highest industry average PSI score

July 2012

MONTEREY, CALIFORNIA – July 9, 2012 –Mercedes-Benz dealerships ranked highest in the newly released 2012 Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index(R) (PSI(R)) U.S. Auto Industry Benchmarking Study, which measured dealership treatment of car-shoppers. Study rankings by brand were determined by the patent-pending Pied Piper PSI process, which ties “mystery shopping” measurement and scoring to industry sales success.

Acura, Infiniti and Lexus dealerships, the luxury brands from Honda, Nissan and Toyota respectively, finished in a tie for second. Overall auto industry performance improvement was widespread, with twenty-four of thirty-four auto brands improving PSI performance from 2011 to 2012. Industry-wide improvement led to a new highest recorded industry average PSI score of 105.

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2011 Pied Piper PSI U.S. Auto Industry Benchmarking Study Mercedes-Benz Dealers Achieve Highest Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index(R) Ranking for Third Consecutive Year

2011 Pied Piper PSI U.S. Auto Industry Benchmarking Study
Mercedes-Benz Dealers Achieve Highest Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index(R) Ranking for Third Consecutive Year

July 2011

Annual auto industry benchmarking study shows industrywide decline in dealership treatment of car shoppers

MONTEREY, CALIFORNIA – July 11, 2011 – Mercedes-Benz dealerships ranked highest in the newly released 2011 Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index(R) (PSI(R)) U.S. Auto Industry Benchmarking Study, which marked three years in a row of top rankings for the U.S. Mercedes-Benz dealer network.

The independent Pied Piper PSI study sent 3,524 hired anonymous “mystery shoppers” into auto dealerships nationwide, then used the patent-pending PSI process to compile the results into an accurate measurement of how each brand's dealerships treat car shoppers.

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Press Release: 2010 Pied Piper PSI U.S. Auto Industry Benchmarking Study Mercedes-Benz dealers achieve highest ranking; Detroit brand dealers most improved

Press Release: 2010 Pied Piper PSI U.S. Auto Industry Benchmarking Study
Mercedes-Benz dealers achieve highest ranking; Detroit brand dealers most improved

July 2010

Mercedes-Benz dealerships ranked highest in the newly released 2010 Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index (PSI) U.S. Auto Industry Study, one of a series of unique national benchmarking studies using ?mystery shoppers? to measure and compare how consumers are treated when shopping.

Detroit brands led the way in 2010 for most improvement, with Ford, Lincoln and Chevrolet scoring above the industry average for the first time since PSI auto industry benchmarking began four years ago.

The independent study sent 3,658 hired anonymous ?mystery shoppers? into auto dealerships nationwide, then used the patent-pending PSI process to compile the results into an accurate measurement of how each brand?s dealerships treat car shoppers.

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