J.D. Power’s Humphrey Remains Bullish on China Auto Market

John Humphrey

John Humphrey

The Chinese automotive industry has received a lot of buildup over the past several years related to the strength of the economy, and the potential of the market, according to John Humphrey, senior vice president of global automotive at J.D. Power and Associates. In a presentation at the recent J.D. Power and Associates 2013 International Automotive Roundtable in Orlando, FL, Humphrey discussed the outlook for China.

China’s Economic Strengths May Outpace Risks

Industry forecasters* are expecting vehicle sales in China to reach 21 million units in 2013, up 10% from the 19.1 million vehicles sold in 2012. China was able to withstand the recession of 2008-2009, and actually grew quite aggressively during that period due to government incentives and stimulus. On the whole, China was far more effective in dealing with the recession than was the U.S. market, and that has pushed the industry ahead.

Going forward, the potential for China remains substantial. In the past, China’s success has been export-driven. In the future, there will be economic growth inland to the Tier 2, Tier 3 and Tier 4 cities, and there will be a shift towards increased domestic consumption that will bode well for light-vehicle purchases. In terms of risk, environmental concerns remain a great one, especially air and water quality. On top of this, vehicle gridlock in many of the Tier 1 and Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities has been a problem for some time, and is not easily solved in a short period. Continue reading ›

Content is King in Social Media Marketing Messages

The key factor in judging performance and customer satisfaction with social media marketing messages is terrific content, according to the inaugural J.D. Power and Associates 2013 Social Media Benchmark Study.SM Three major performance indicators that have been identified among top performing auto brands evaluated in the study are:

• Information needs to meet these criteria—content . . . Continue Reading Content is King in Social Media Marketing Messages

J.D. Power International Roundtable Provides Future Industry Outlook


John Humphrey

After a successful 2012, the outlook in 2013 for the automotive markets in the United States and China remains optimistic, according to John Humphrey, senior vice president of global automotive at J.D. Power and Associates. He gave projections for the global auto industry during a presentation at the recent J.D. Power 2013 International Automotive Roundtable in Orlando, FL. Some 500 auto industry members—including dealers, marketers and executives from automakers—attended the one-day conference that was co-sponsored with the NADA. Some highlights from the presentation:

Auto Sales Shift to Emerging Markets

In 2013, the global automotive industry faces a somewhat mixed economic bag; the average GDP of mature markets will grow at about 1.4%, while the world’s largest emerging markets will grow by 5.5%, on average.*

Clearly, the United States and China are the bright spots to watch in 2013 and thereafter, in terms of sales and production potential. That said, there are pockets of overcapacity in the global industry that need to be addressed. In 2012, total global capacity for light vehicles reached 116 million units, against total global sales of 81 million units. This roughly translates to a utilization rate of 70%—well below the 80% threshold that most automakers need to reach to achieve financial breakeven. While utilization rates can vary widely by market—and impact the health of individual industries—the overall rate for the global industry can positively or negatively affect automakers with global operations.

Looking toward the end of the decade, the global automotive industry is plainly being driven by the largest emerging markets. In 2012, Asian markets accounted for 41% of the 81 million light vehicles sold globally—primarily China and India. By 2019, Asian markets will account for 49% of the 115 million vehicles forecast to be sold globally.

Continue reading ›

February U.S. Auto Sales Remain Strong with Robust 13.1 Million-Unit Pace

2012 WAC Humphrey-27-MNew-vehicle sales are expected to remain resilient through the rest of February even though the retail selling rate is weaker than it was in January of this year, according to the monthly sales forecast update from our Power Information Network® (PIN) and LMC Automotive. The forecast is based on analysis of transaction data during the first 14 selling days of the month.

Retail light-vehicle sales this month are projected to reach 931,100 units, which would be 9% higher than in February 2012 and would translate to a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 12.1 million units, up from last February’s 11.7 million unit pace, but weaker than the 13.1 million-unit retail pace in January 2013.

Total light-vehicle sales (retail and fleet) this month are estimated to reach 1.176 million units—up 7% from deliveries in February 2012 on a selling-day-adjusted basis.* Fleet deliveries are expected to remain at the same level as in January—accounting for 21% of the sales mix. The total light-vehicle SAAR is projected to reach 15.2 million units, which is the fourth straight month at or above 15.2 million units. Continue reading ›

Young Buyers are Attracted to Import Compacts in 2012

2012 Dodge Charger SRT8Import car models—especially compacts—attracted the highest percentages of younger buyers (ages 16-35) in the past calendar year, based on analysis of real-time transaction data from J.D. Power’s Power Information Network® (PIN).

Unlike 2011, however, one of the 10 models with the highest percentages of young buyers in 2012 was a domestic, full-size model from Fiat-Chrysler—the Dodge Charger. Also, two of the 10 models were compact premium models from the Honda Group—Acura’s new entry-level ILX and the current TSX compact premium conventional models. All three of these new additions to the young buyer list had suggested retail prices that were just above $30,000. Continue reading ›

Vehicle Dependability Equates to Higher Loyalty

David Sargent

The fewer problems that vehicle owners experience with their vehicle translates to greater loyalty to the brand, according to J.D. Power research. When we combine previous-year results from our U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS) with actual vehicle trade-in data from our Power Information Network® (PIN), we discover that more than one-half . . . Continue Reading Vehicle Dependability Equates to Higher Loyalty

A Number of Auto Brands Receive High Satisfaction Scores for Social Media Marketing

Jacqueline Anderson

Some 30 auto brands are included in the inaugural J.D. Power and Associates 2013 Social Media Benchmarking Study.SM Eight brands, including Cadillac, Fiat, Ford, Hyundai, Kia, Lexus, Nissan and Toyota, are identified as top performers in social marketing, while four, including Chevrolet, Ford, Subaru and Toyota, rank among the highest performers in satisfaction . . . Continue Reading A Number of Auto Brands Receive High Satisfaction Scores for Social Media Marketing

Auto Industry Receives High Scores in Social Media Marketing Satisfaction


Jackie Anderson

J.D. Power’s first cross-brand 2013 Social Media Benchmark Study, which measures consumer experience in engaging with companies through social media, finds that the automotive industry ranks among the highest in customer satisfaction with social media marketing and servicing engagements. The study, which is based on an online survey of 23,274 respondents from general population online panels in the United States, examines how consumers use social media to connect with companies in six major industries for two distinct purposes: social marketing and social servicing interactions.

A few interesting findings from this year’s study analysis of respondents’ evaluations are highlighted:

• The auto industry is different from the other five industries evaluated because consumers engage and have social media relationships with the automaker or OEM, the product, and with the dealer. Continue reading ›

Toyota Group, GM Models Receive Most Segment-Level VDS Awards

2010 Lexus RX Series  The Toyota Group earns seven segment-level dependability awards in the J.D. Power and Associates 2013 U.S. Vehicle Dependability StudySM (VDS), which is based on responses from owners of 3-year old vehicles (2010 model year). General Motors follows with four segment-level model awards.

Toyota Motor Corp.’s three brands—Toyota, Lexus and Scion—had a total of seven models that received awards for the lowest problems per 100 vehicles (PP100) scores in the 18 award-eligible segments.* One of these models, the Lexus RX, achieves the lowest PP100 score in the industry—57 PP100. This is the first time in the history of the VDS that a crossover or SUV has achieved this distinction, and a 41% improvement in reported problems in comparison to the model’s performance in J.D. Power’s Initial Quality Study (IQS) for 2010. Continue reading ›

Lexus, Porsche Rank Highest in Dependability; Ram Dependability Improves Most

Long-term dependability improved for a majority of automotive brands included in our 2013 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS), which assesses problems experienced during the past 12 months by original owners of three-year-old vehicles (those that were introduced for the 2010 model year). For a second consecutive year, Lexus received the lowest PP100 score—71 PP100—which . . . Continue Reading Lexus, Porsche Rank Highest in Dependability; Ram Dependability Improves Most