Pacific Grove, Calif. — Acura dealerships ranked highest in the newly released 2007 Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index Auto Industry Study, an industry study that measures how consumers are treated when shopping for a new car, SUV or truck. The independent study evaluated and benchmarked shopping experiences at 1,592 dealerships nationwide, representing all major brands.

Following Acura were Land Rover, Saturn, Jaguar, Volkswagen, Nissan, and nineteen other brands at or above the industry average. Twelve brands finished below industry average.

Acura dealers were ranked consistently among the top brands for most of the 50 plus sales process aspects evaluated by the study, and ranked first for giving prospects compelling reasons to buy from their specific dealership. Other brands led the industry in different areas.

"Pied Piper PSI results show that it is possible for automobile salespeople to effectively ask for the sale without seeming either overbearing or ambivalent," said Fran O'Hagan, president of Pied Piper Management Co. LLC. “Long a subject of criticism, many auto manufacturers and dealers have substantially improved the effectiveness of their sales processes. For example, salespeople offered a test drive 89 percent of the time, asked for contact information 83 percent of the time, asked for the sale 75 percent of the time, and offered a brochure 66 percent of the time. Since the study figures are averages across brands, opportunity abounds for performance improvement at individual dealerships. One area of opportunity is the fact that salespeople provided compelling reasons to buy from their specific dealership only 51 percent of the time.”

O’Hagan continued, "Most businesses carefully track sales and take care of existing customers, but 75 percent to 90 percent of motor-vehicle shoppers don't buy the same day they visit a retail location, so maximizing prospect satisfaction is an important key for turning those shoppers into tomorrow's buyers."

The 2007 Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index(SM) Auto Industry Study was conducted between April 2007 and June 2007 using anonymous shopper evaluations at 1,592 dealerships located throughout the U.S., representing approximately one in 14 of all U.S. light-vehicle dealership locations.