First Call to Insurer Sets Tone for Canadian Auto Insurance Claimant Satisfaction

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Jeremy Bowler

Although settlement of an auto insurance claim is the most important factor among six measures* evaluated in our 2013 Canadian Auto Claims Satisfaction Study, the first phone call that a claimant makes to the insurance provider or agent after an accident or vehicle damage incident sets the tone for the whole claims process. The first notice of loss call averages 18 minutes, according to the study.

 Auto Insurance Claimant Satisfaction Differs by Province

Our inaugural Auto Claims Satisfaction Study in Canada finds that satisfaction with the auto claims experience varies between provinces. For instance, satisfaction ranges from a high index of 840 (on a 1,000-point scale) in Quebec to only 753 on average in Manitoba. Satisfaction scores for some of the other regions are: Ontario (800); Alberta (770); British Columbia (767); and Saskatchewan (760).

Overall, the industry satisfaction score with the auto claims experience in Canada averages 787. Continue reading ›

Multiple Platforms, Screen Sizes Drive Major Changes in Automakers’ Websites

Arianne_Walker New

Arianne Walker

The explosion of tablet ownership among new-vehicle shoppers in 2013 and the different approaches that shoppers now use to access information during the new-vehicle shopping process is challenging automakers to improve website functionality across platforms, according to our 2013 Manufacturer Website Evaluations Study (MWES)–Wave 2.

Results in Wave 2 of the semiannual 2013 MWES find that tablet ownership has climbed by 145% from just 20% of new-vehicle shoppers in Wave 1 of the 2012 MWES, to nearly one-half (49%) of nearly 10,200 new-vehicle shoppers in Wave 2 of the 2013 MWES.

Among the tablet users, overall satisfaction with the usefulness of auto manufacturer websites during the shopping process remains nearly flat at 815 (on a 1,000-point scale) vs. 818 points in Wave 1 of the 2013 study. Average satisfaction with automakers’ websites by desktop PC users is slightly higher—823—since most manufacturer websites are designed specifically for a desktop. Wave 2 finds that satisfaction among tablet users is lower in two of the four key measures: navigation and speed.* Continue reading ›

New Models, Redesigns Perform Better on 2013 APEAL Study

Newly launched and redesigned models receive higher scores for appealing to their owners than do carryover models, according to our 2013 U.S. Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study. In fact, among the 23 segment award recipients, eight are new or redesigned.

Nearly two-thirds of these newly introduced or redesigned models perform above their . . . Continue Reading New Models, Redesigns Perform Better on 2013 APEAL Study

Premium Brands Earn Higher APEAL Scores; Land Rover Range Rover Ranks Highest

David Amodeo

David Amodeo

A new feature of our redesigned 2013 U.S. Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study is the division and ranking of APEAL performance into two major categories: Premium and Non-Premium Brands.

At the industry level, the APEAL score averages 795 points on a 1,000-point scale. With our change in segment designations, the Premium segment average is 844 points and the Non-Premium segment average is 786.

As it has for the past nine years, Porsche leads all brands in the nameplate rankings and earns a score of 884 points, which also means it ranks highest in the Premium category. Rounding out the top five premium brands are, respectively: Audi (857); BMW (854); and Land Rover (853), followed by Lexus and Mercedes-Benz in a tie (847). The highest-ranking domestic premium brand in the study is Cadillac at No. 7.

In the Non-Premium segment, for the first time, Chrysler Group’s Ram nameplate is the most appealing brand with a score of 817. Ram is followed by Volkswagen (809); MINI (801); Buick (800) and Kia (797) in the Non-Premium category. All of these mass-market brands receive scores that are above the industry average of 795 points. Continue reading ›

Redesigned U.S. APEAL Study: Engaging Vehicles Generate Enhanced Loyalty

David Sargent

David Sargent

When a new-vehicle buyer has a delightful experience owning and driving a new car or light truck, there are considerable positive connections and outcomes, such as faster sales at the dealership, higher transaction prices, and increased owner loyalty, according to our redesigned 2013 U.S. Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study.

The completely revamped 2013 APEAL Study, which measures how gratifying a new vehicle is for buyers or lessees to own and drive, has been conducted online this year to capture much more detail and provides better diagnostics to understand current key areas of excitement and disappointment among consumers.

The study’s online results further address key concerns to automakers and consumers around some important factors, including:

• new technologies such as infotainment systems

• safety and fuel economy features

• the design of the interior or cockpit

Details from the redone study also help automakers develop and design products that are more likely to appeal to future consumers. Continue reading ›

Second-Half Begins with Good News for U.S. Auto Industry

John Humphrey

John Humphrey

U.S. new-vehicle sales in July 2013 are expected to climb in double digits from the same month a year ago as demand continues to be strong and credit continues to be available, enabling higher transaction prices, according to a monthly sales forecast update from J.D. Power’s Power Information Network® (PIN) and strategic partner LMC Automotive.

Based on analysis of the first 10 selling days of the month, retail deliveries in July will likely reach 1.127 million units—a 12% gain from July 2012 on a selling-day adjusted basis.* This translates to a seasonally adjusted annual sales rate (SAAR) of 13.2 million units—which is nearly as strong as the robust 13.3 million-unit pace in June of this year and is a major improvement from an 11.5 million-unit pace in July 2012.

Total new-vehicle deliveries (retail and fleet) are expected to grow by 11% from a year ago to nearly 1.337 million units. In that mix, fleet deliveries, which average between 15-16% of total sales in July, are forecast to come in below 209,600 units. The average selling pace is anticipated to match last month’s pace of 15.9 million units. That’s up significantly from a 14.1 million-unit SAAR in July 2012. Continue reading ›

Regional Storm Events Impact U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction

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Jeremy Bowler

Satisfaction with the experience of filing and settling an auto claim among customers who finalized a claim in the past 6 months improved by 2 points in the second quarter from the first quarter, according to our 2013 Auto Claims Satisfaction Study—Wave 3.

However, small improvements in satisfaction with repairable claims were offset by significant declines in satisfaction among total-loss claimants, the study finds. These declines are partially due to the impact of more claims filed in the Mid-Atlantic region after damages from Superstorm Sandy last year and a powerful nor’easter storm in February 2013.

While auto claims satisfaction is up 2 points and satisfaction in four of the six factors* measured is also up from Wave 2 (January-March 2013), satisfaction with the appraisal process among total-loss claimants declines by 25 points. Continue reading ›

Chevrolet Achieves First-Half Global Sales Record

General Motors’ flagship Chevrolet brand this week said it delivered a record 2.5 million new vehicles worldwide in the first half of 2013—up a slight 1.4% vs. the same six-month period in 2012. Total deliveries for all GM brands in the first half were up nearly 4% from last year’s same period to 4.85 million units, from 4.67 million units a year ago.

2013 Chevrolet Spark

2013 Chevrolet Spark

Chevrolet sales topped 1.02 million units in the U.S. market—a 5.6% gain from last year, with a combined 25% increase in demand for the mass-market brand’s smaller models, including—Sonic, Spark, Cruze and Volt plug-in hybrid. Large truck sales also rose in double digits.

J.D. Power data from the Power Information Network® (PIN) and strategic partner LMC Automotive indicates that Chevrolet’s U.S. deliveries on a selling-day adjusted basis rose 8.7% in the first half from last year, which was slightly ahead of the industry’s 8.4% increase. The brand’s share in the U.S. market edged up to 18.17% from 18.15% a year ago. Five of Chevrolet’s models ranked among the 20 best-sellers—respectively, include: the Silverado, Cruze, Equinox, Malibu and Impala. Continue reading ›

First-Half 2013 Auto Sales Feature Spike in Trucks, Compact Sales

1Salesperson and Couple at DealershipU.S. new-vehicle sales ended the first six months of 2013 on an upswing, according to J.D. Power research and analysis from the Power Information Network® (PIN) and strategic partner LMC Automotive. The first half of 2013 saw the strongest June sales in the past six years with deliveries of 1.4 million units, which should lead into strong sales momentum in the second half of the year. Retail delivery demand is firmly in pre-Great Recession territory, according to J.D. Power analysts.

Total new-vehicle deliveries in January-June 2013 were up 8.4% to 7.82 million unit sales from 7.26 million sales in the same six-month period a year ago. Light trucks outperformed cars in the first half and captured 1.8 more points of share than in the same period of 2012.

Another first-half headline: the Detroit-based automakers together captured nearly 1 additional point of industry share in the U.S. auto market in the first half—46.1% vs. 45.2% in 2012. General Motors Co. remained the sales leader in the U.S. market during the first six months of 2013 with 18.17%, while Ford garnered a 16.32% share of the market. Toyota Group was next with a slightly smaller 14.18% portion, followed by Fiat-Chrysler with a slightly expanded 11.65% share of the new-vehicle market. Continue reading ›

Tata Motors: Remaining Competitive in India

Ammar Photo

Ammar Master

One of India’s major automakers, Tata Motors, is struggling in its home market as buyers are attracted to the competition’s products. Tata’s upgraded products lack excitement and the Nano’s current slump has brought up a question about the company’s ability to connect with young and aspiring consumers in India.

During the past few years, more competitors have been entering the critical sub‐compact car market, and Tata may have over-emphasized the importance of its Nano and the role of the model in the company’s portfolio.

Tata was riding high on expectations of a mass migration of India’s two‐wheeler buyers to the affordably priced Nano. When this did not happen, the Nano was in a position that failed to win buyers from stronger models such as the Maruti Suzuki Alto and Hyundai i10. Continue reading ›