NADA Convention 2011 and XXI Congresso Fenabrave: the revolution of Social Media make obsolete the CSI


NADA Convention in San Francisco © by ralphpaglia

As the GDP can’t be the benchmark of the economy because it does not take into account all the variables of real life but only the consumption, so the CSI can’t be the index with which to judge dealers, because it measures the satisfaction of “just one moment” and nothing else.

Few manufacturers – more attentive to the evolution of consumers – does not measure satisfaction an end in itself, a figure influenced by tricks, promises and gifts, but check the index of the dealer promotion – the ‘NPS’ Net Promoter Score – it is found that if we are satisfied with a product or service, we are inclined to recommend it to family and friends. Recent studies and research show that even in Europe and in Italy – during the sale process into the dealership – the human factor, courtesy, personal approach, are the most important items for customers, while the price is only to be fourth in the decision-making scale.

During the NADA Convention 2011 Brian Grubb presented the ‘Ritz-Carlton’s legendary service’ which, acting on the skills of those who are in contact with the public, has enabled the hotel chain to an exponential increase in customers and profits.

Communicate in a new way. In a short time, just to remain in the market, the Italian dealers – as like the Americans ones – must become familiar with this apparent paradox that oscillates between the importance of human relationships and the ‘dematerialization’ of direct contacts between people due to Internet and the ever-greater importance of social media, popular among young technology experts but also in more mature audience! In fact, in a scenario where relations between consumers are becoming increasingly intertwined and continues to develop a growing mistrust of traditional advertising, word of mouth plays and will play an increasingly important role in the purchasing behavior of a new or used car.

Word of Mouth and Social Networks: the consumers does their own mktg enquires. Word of mouth can determine the success of a product, but it can be a dangerous boomerang for a hotel, a car manufacturer or a dealer with unorthodox methods! Hundreds of thousands of Italians before booking a hotel or a vacation they consult the opinions of other consumers on tripadvisor avoiding unpleasant surprises. And in the automotive industry? CapGemini Statistics show that today in the U.S. nearly 40% of car buyers do not trust most of the traditional media like print or TV, but see the media consumer-to-consumer (C2C) as Blog, Social Media, Internet discussions to gather information during the purchase process. In 2006 they were 20%.


Sales through the Social Media! has highlighted the familiarity and use of social media as a means of exchange of information on products and experience of buying cars. The first fact to emphasize is that Italians are among the first in Europe to pay close attention to the advice and tips on product reviews from their circle of friends on social networks, followed closely by the British. At the European level, two out of three consumers are seeking online only the products which have received advice or suggestions, and one between four buy! Even in Italy always more we see our friends on social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter before deciding to buy a durable; expressing – if fulfilled – our satisfaction with the icon ‘I like’ and the thumbs up!

There are already thousands of people every day from home or from work on compare the prices and the best deals on the market by choosing to buy from him who gives courtesy and good prices. It ‘clearly established that consumers prefer to engage in these “relationships safer, ” mediated by a screen, through which you can connect with a wider circle of friends without an absolutely no obligation. The interesting fact is that although we prefer online relationships – which are not binding – at the same time we trust and give increasingly rely on suggestions from these sources rather than from traditional advertising media.




Dealer reputation Online Vs CSI. Yelp, CarTalk, Autoblog, TrueDelta in the U.S. are the terror of manufacturers, importers and dealers: those that are going to buy a car consult the advice of hundreds of thousands of other customers to check their real shopping and service experiences. Dozens of specialized sites – as – tell impressions of tens of thousands of customers with dealers, salesmen and their reputation. Often they are adversely affected; so they decided not to trust in dealers and vendors judged rude or disorganized. Leader of this ‘reputation of the dealer certification’ are and , active since 1996. The first issue a coveted certification to independent dealers and sellers who meet a strict code of ethics and behavior, offering aggressive pricing, premium services and amenities. Only Top Dealers can boast this award published on Facebook and on the major social networks, with testimonials and feedback that will last forever. In case of dispute the dealer has 2 weeks to groped to reconcile with those who decry. The reviews are checked one by one and those obviously fake or offensive will be deleted. Dealers who have been in the ‘black list’ do not receive the certification.

Social Networks: a targeted fishing net! But Social Networks are not only an instrument to defend the reputation of a company: they are a business tool, useful to grab new customers! Take a ‘tour’ on find out which are the reference potential of social media, with whom they relate to your customers, where they come from, what they think of your bids or your dealership!




AAA “Automotive Social Media Manager Wanted”. This announcement on a job search site makes us understand how high in North America is the attention to social media – now completely unexplored in the automotive industry in Italy and Europe. This revolution in communication and approach to the prospects and to a new sales process was the main theme of the workshop that many dealers have followed during the NADA Convention 2011: Jared Hamilton and his colleagues of the NadaUniversity have shown studies and business cases that can be implemented by any dealer, with low costs. These themes will also presented by Maurizio Sala during the next XXI Congresso Fenabrave in San Paulo in November!

Charles Darwin taught us that evolution is unstoppable. It is strange to think that – even in 2011 – there are still some salesmen at the dealerships who do not write on the written offer the last ‘transaction price’ or the ‘used car quotation’ for fear to appear at the dealer competitor; without thinking that by now – over the Internet – prices and promotions are public! And the comments are positive or negative on the net, all over the world… forever! Not only in the brief time of the CSI survey.

Maurizio Sala

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One Comment

  1. Maurizio Sala says:

    Mr. Nikunj wrote:
    “Hi! Thanks!! Great insights. We publish a monthly journal for dealers in India.
    Do I have the permission to publish some of your articles?”


    According to the Editor – Mr. Pietro Montagna – I confirm to everyone working in the Automotive the permission to use ALL the articles of the AutomotiveSpace blog!

    With regard to everything that has already been published and will be published, and licensed under CC 3.0 Italy, you can use it, but please you have to respect 3 simple rules:
    1) Do not misunderstanding the thought;
    2) Do not make any commercial uses;
    3) Please cite the source (and the author) with a simple link!

    It will be a honor for me and for my collegue Pietro Montagna to share with Professionists, Executives and everyone employed in the automotive our data and our point of view.

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