Initial Quality in Malaysia Advances for Fourth Straight Year

Malaysia, PenangFor a fourth consecutive year, overall new-vehicle initial quality in Malaysia improves significantly, according to the 2013 Malaysia Initial Quality Study (IQS), based on responses from more than 3,100 new-vehicle buyers during the first two to six months of ownership.*

The 2013 Malaysia IQS findings are encouraging because the automotive market in Malaysia is becoming increasingly competitive with a rising number of new models, which makes it essential for brands to produce high-quality cars and trucks. Continue reading ›

Initial Quality in China Sets New Benchmark; Domestics Improve Significantly

Dr. Mei Songlin

China’s domestic brands are improving their initial vehicle quality and are narrowing the gap with international brands, which is reducing the overall problem rate in China to a record low, according to the 2013 China Initial Quality Study (IQS). At the industry level, overall initial quality averages just 119 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100) in 2013, which represents the lowest number of problems since the study was introduced in 2000.

The 2013 China IQS, which examines problems experienced by new-vehicle owners within the first two to six months of ownership, evaluates two general types of problems: design-related problems, and defects and malfunctions. Some 21,181 owners of new vehicles purchased between October 2012 and June 2013 in 46 major cities were surveyed for the study. The overall initial quality score for 2013 is determined by calculating PP100, where a lower problem incidence rate indicates higher quality. Continue reading ›

Thorough Explanations Enhance After-Sales Service Satisfaction in Vietnam

Vietnam01New-vehicle owners in Vietnam prefer to have the type and scope of maintenance or repair work explained prior to their service visit and after the work is completed at the dealer or authorized service center, according to our 2013 Vietnam Customer Service Index (CSI) Study. When a service advisor provides explanations at the beginning and completion of work, satisfaction improves significantly—by 24 points (on a 1,000-point scale). Continue reading ›

Sales Satisfaction Up in Vietnam Market; Test Drive Can Make a Difference

Traffic on Vietnamese StreetOverall satisfaction with the new-vehicle purchase experience at the dealership has improved by 4 points in 2013 to an average 850 points (on a 1,000-point scale) from 846 points in 2012, according to our 2013 Vietnam Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study. Yet, even with this year’s higher satisfaction score, the study finds areas where dealers can improve sales satisfaction, including offering customers a test drive and spending more time with the buyer during the delivery process.

Offering a test drive—which averages 17 minutes in 2013, compared with 19 minutes in 2012 and 21 minutes in 2011—to new-vehicle buyers who visit a dealership in Vietnam can increase customer satisfaction with the sales process, the study finds. Slightly more than one-third (36%) of buyers actually test drive a vehicle. Continue reading ›

Quiet Cars Influence OE Tire Satisfaction in Japan Market

Vehicle owners in Japan expect the tires that come with their vehicle from the factory to be perfect and without problems, according to our 2013 Japan Original Equipment Tire Customer Satisfaction Index Study. As vehicles become quieter, especially hybrids and electric vehicles, owners become more sensitive to noise and vibrations caused by their vehicle tires—a problem that is more prevalent than traction and handling issues.

The 2013 study, which examines problems that owners experience with their original equipment (OE) tires in the Japan market, finds that the two most frequently experienced problems owners have are pebbles or stones getting caught in the tire tread and road and vibration noise, which negatively affect ride, quietness and, ultimately, tire satisfaction. Continue reading ›

A J.D. Power Perspective on Ford’s Dramatic Sales Climb in China

Tim Dunne

Tim Dunne

Although Ford is somewhat of a late bloomer in the China auto market, the Detroit-based automaker is set to outpace major Japanese competitors such as Toyota and Honda Groups in passenger-vehicle sales in the China market this year, according to media reports. The major U.S. automaker still is behind General Motors and Volkswagen Group auto sales in the China market.

A Ford official told Reuters that it is possible the company will sell more than 900,000 units in 2013—including both passenger cars and commercial vehicles—in the world’s largest auto market, mainly due to a stronger product lineup. Small SUVs, including the Ford EcoSport and Kuga, have sold well and a redesigned Focus has been on sale since last year. Continue reading ›

Shorter Vehicle Delivery Time Impacts Dealership Selection in India

India02Although dealer proximity is still the most influential reason for choosing a dealership in India, new-vehicle buyers cite immediate delivery as an emerging key consideration, according to our 2013 India Escaped Shopper Study (ESS). More than one-sixth (16%) of customers cite immediate delivery as the most influential reason for selecting a dealer, up from just 8% in 2009.

In addition, a longer delivery time is cited by new-vehicle buyers as the second-most influential reason to reject a vehicle that shoppers had initially considered purchasing. The interest in vehicle delivery is related to the final decision process. Once the decision is made and the payment and other processes are completed, new-vehicle owners want to immediately show off their prized possession. Continue reading ›

J.D. Power Expert Offers Insight on the Shift in the Global Automotive Industry

Tim Dunne

The global auto industry is in flux with dramatic changes and growth in emerging markets—especially in the Asia-Pacific region, according to J.D. Power’s Tim Dunne, director of global automotive industry analysis.

In a recent paper that has been published in several Standard & Poor’s publications, including CreditWeek®, Dunne discusses some of these changes and provides future forecasts and an outlook for the industry in terms of auto production, changes in technology and engineering, and the impact of these changes on the environment and the economy.

A few highlights about the Asia-Pacific market are excerpted from “The Changing Landscape of the Global Automotive Industry; A Global Shift in the Balance of Power:”

• In 2013, LMC Automotive (J.D. Power’s strategic partner) expects the Asia-Pacific region to account for 36 million light-vehicle sales, representing 43% of the world’s total. Continue reading ›

Urban Shift Impacts India New-Vehicle Shopping Behavior

Mohit Arora

Mohit Arora

During the past five years, demographic differences in India and urban shifts have been creating distinctive regional shopping behaviors as well as different regional ownership experiences among new-vehicle buyers, according to our 2013 India Escaped Shopper Study (ESS).

A few of the major regional changes that J.D. Power Asia Pacific observes in the study that examines the reasons why new-vehicle shoppers consider but ultimately reject certain models in favor of another are highlighted:

• There has been a regional surge in first-time new-vehicle buyers mainly in the Eastern and Western regions of India. Nearly 70% of buyers in the Western region and 57% of buyers in the East are purchasing a new vehicle for the first time.

• In contrast, the percentage of first-time new-vehicle buyers in the Northern region has declined while the first-time buyer percentage has remained flat in the South. Continue reading ›

Service Customers in Taiwan Expect Cost Estimate and Follow-Up

Taipei, Taiwan.Overall customer satisfaction with the service experience among vehicle owners in Taiwan who visited their dealership or service center improves by 26 points from 2012, to 873 (on a 1,000-point scale), according to our 2013 Taiwan Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) Study.*

Study findings indicate that when customers in Taiwan drop off their vehicle for service at the dealership, they expect an estimate of charges and when work is completed, they want an explanation of the charges for service.

In 2013, satisfaction improves in each of the five factors measured with a significant advance of 27 points for vehicle pickup followed by 26-point improvements in each of these three factors: service initiation, service advisor, and service facility. Continue reading ›