According to Forrester’s 2022 India Auto Manufacturers Customer Experience Index (CX Index™) rankings, Toyota emerged as the 2022 customer experience leader, zooming back to the top of the table and displacing last year’s leader Ford. Overall, the auto industry made progress, with the average scoring improving by two points and all brands delivering ‘good’ CX, with one (Toyota) managing a return to the excellent CX category. 

Key findings for this year’s CX Index include: 

  • Toyota provides the best purchase and service experiences: In 2022, Toyota increased its overall score by an impressive 4.7 points, zooming back to the top of the table and displacing last year’s leader Ford. Toyota led the industry in both purchase and service experiences. It beat its competitors in almost all CX driver categories, providing 85 emotionally positive interactions for each negative one.  
  • Ford is a close second: Despite a score rise of 2.4 points in 2022, Ford fell out of the top spot to rank second. After announcing a stop in manufacturing and sales, the brand froze prices for parts and advertised its commitment to servicing existing vehicles by retaining 90% of its service network in the country.  
  • The industry made progress, but there is room for improvement: The average score for the auto industry was up 2 points over last year. While scores for six of the seven brands went up, only three — Toyota, Ford, and Tata Motors — improved by a statistically significant amount. While all brands delivered good CX, just one (Toyota) managed to return to the excellent CX category. As the auto space heats up, brands have much to improve in their purchase and service experiences, especially as the latter affects future purchases. 

While auto brands have doubled down on their digital presence in the past few years especially since the pandemic, customers who had a mix of physical and digital interactions during vehicle purchase and service had the best CX. In contrast, those who had only physical interactions had the worst experiences. While digital support is great, brands can’t squander the opportunity to interact with customers physically, such as in person or over the phone. These interactions offer high-touch, high-visibility chances for brands to influence customers and prospects. 

Based on a survey of more than 3,400 consumers, Forrester’s CX Index benchmarks the CX quality of seven of India’s largest automakers — Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Mahindra & Mahindra, Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors and Toyota — across three key dimensions: emotion, effectiveness, and ease of use. 

The rankings identify the key drivers that have the greatest impact on brand loyalty. By focusing on the drivers that most influence customers’ loyalty, automakers can prioritize their efforts accordingly. The top five emotions driving purchase loyalty are making customers feel delighted, happy, confident, appreciated, and content; the top five driving service loyalty are making them feel confident, grateful, happy, valued, and hopeful. Among customers who felt confident, 85% plan to stay longer with the brand and 88% will advocate for it. In 2022, auto purchases are most influenced by drivers related to the vehicles and services category, which includes drivers related to quality, warranty, ease of getting credit, and availability of relevant vehicles and services. 

Making auto customers feel disappointed, confused, frustrated, annoyed, and helpless during purchase are the five emotions that most harm their loyalty; making them feel disappointed, confused, frustrated, unappreciated, and annoyed during service most harm their loyalty. Customers are typically disappointed when brands can’t fulfill their promises or meet customers’ expectations. Among service customers of India’s auto manufacturers industry who felt disappointed, only 59% plan to stay longer with the brand; 56% will advocate for it. 

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