Dongfeng-Nissan Paid for J.D. Power Rating?October 18th, 2012 | Posted in Dongfeng | Marketing | Nissan
Xinhua exposed on Wednesday two internal documents from Dongfeng-Nissan billing one of its dealers for J.D. Power (JDP) surveys, setting off speculation that the joint venture had tried to influence the Customer Service Index (CSI) study with money.
Entitled "Inter-communication sheet" and addressed to the same Nissan dealership in Suzhou, the two documents sent a similar message, and both charged 40,000 Yuan (US6,000) to ensure "good JDP results," with one dating back to early 2011 and the other early 2012. In the document prepared on Feb. 24, 2011, we read: "as time is tight for JDP surveys, to ensure dealerships in the greater Suzhou region get good JDP results, each store should make a payment of 40,000 Yuan, as a contribution to a common fund for marketing services, to the bank account named below before 17:00 March 2."
Xinhua Auto said it had tried to contact the PR department of Dongfeng-Nissan through phone calls and text messages, but failed to get a response.
In J.D. Power’s 2011 China CSI study, which measured the level of customer satisfaction with dealers’ services, the joint venture scored 874 out of a total of 1,000 points and ranked the 7th among dozens of brands. The industry average was 833.
Industry insiders were not surprised by the possibility that Dongfeng-Nissan had paid for good JDP ratings, as similar practices are fairly common in the country and usually conducted through PR agents. It is an open secret that high scores on car quality and services are desirable goods that can be bought with enough money. It seems even a well-respected US firm like J.D. Power is not immune to such corruption.