Online dealer ratings getting more attention than CSI

Donna Harris covers automotive retailing for Automotive News
Many dealers seem to be minding their online dealer ratings more than they are the factory's customer satisfaction indexes.

Some say the online ratings are a better gauge of what customers think of their stores. They're certainly more up-to-the-minute. And data from J.D. Power and Associates indicates nearly 40 percent of car shoppers use ratings to determine where they'll buy their vehicle. is one of the latest to launch a dealer rating service. is refining its dealer ratings.

Reputation monitoring is all the rage at the NADA show. is one example.

It keeps tabs on dealers' ratings on Web sites such as and, alerting dealers when there's a complaint. It also provides dealers with an aggregate score.

Sure, dealers have to pay attention to CSI -- particularly if the factory ties bonuses to scores. But potential customers are evaluating dealerships based on the online ratings by other consumers. And that's good enough reason for many dealers to give the online dealer ratings more weight.

ATTENTION COMMENTERS: Automotive News has monitored a significant increase in the number of personal attacks and abusive comments on our site. We encourage our readers to voice their opinions and argue their points. We expect disagreement. We do not expect our readers to turn on each other. We will be aggressively deleting all comments that personally attack another poster, or an article author, even if the comment is otherwise a well-argued observation. If we see repeated behavior, we will ban the commenter. Please help us maintain a civil level of discourse.

Email Newsletters
  • General newsletters
  • (Weekdays)
  • (Mondays)
  • (As needed)
  • Video newscasts
  • (Weekdays)
  • (Weekdays)
  • (Saturdays)
  • Special interest newsletters
  • (Thursdays)
  • (Tuesdays)
  • (Monthly)
  • (Monthly)
  • (Wednesdays)
  • (Bimonthly)
  • Special reports
  • (As needed)
  • (As needed)
  • Communication preferences
  • You can unsubscribe at any time through links in these emails. For more information, see our Privacy Policy.