The Link between Customer Satisfaction and Dealer Satisfaction — The Case of the German Car Industry

  • Alexander Decker
Part of the Focus Dienstleistungsmarketing book series (FDM)


The satisfaction of car dealers with their suppliers has gained some remarkable attention in the German car industry in recent years. A major reason for this phenomenon may be seen in the apparent link between dealer satisfaction and customer satisfaction. Although this relation seems apparent, the positive link between dealer and customer satisfaction is not proven. For example, there exists no empirical evidence for the causality of the relation. Therefore, the goal of this paper is to gain some theoretical insights into the relationship on the basis of preliminary findings and additional industry related considerations.

The findings of the analysis point out, that on the basis of preliminary empirical findings there is only a weak support for the assumption of a positive relationship. In addition, the direction of the connection is yet unclear. According to a more theoretical viewpoint, it seems to be more likely that the two constructs are at least positively related. An additional calculation will show, that none of the two constructs has a higher impact on the other. Limitations of these findings are going to be shown as well as implications for future research in this area.


Customer Satisfaction Channel Member Dealer Network Satisfaction Research Customer Satisfaction Index 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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  • Alexander Decker

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