Are Committed Dealers More Profitable to an OEM?

Joel Lieberman
General Motors Corporation, United States

Tanniru R. Rao
Market Probe, Inc., United States

INTRODUCTION

The industry's literature is replete with papers and books on all aspects of customer satisfaction research, from survey methodology to analysis. A fine treatment of the history of satisfaction research can be found in Allen and Rao (2000). An excellent guide to linking consumer and employee satisfaction to the bottom line can be found in Allen and Wilburn (2002). However, the authors are unaware of studies which relate customer satisfaction to revenue and profitability in business-to-business relationships.

BACKGROUND

GM Service and Parts Operations (SPO) is the division of General Motors charged with marketing automotive replacement parts, accessories and vehicle-care products worldwide for GM and non-GM vehicles. Products are sold domestically through two distinct sales channels: GM Parts (to GM dealerships) and ACDelco (to warehouse distributors and automotive retailers). Through its Service Operations group, the organization is focused on providing great support to service departments at the 7,000 plus General Motors dealerships domestically.