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 ›

Ownership Costs Most Important in 2013 Brazil VOSS

Jon Sederstrom-Final

Jon Sederstrom

Overall vehicle ownership satisfaction in Brazil averages 733 (on a 1,000-point scale), according to our 2013 Brazil Vehicle Ownership Satisfaction Study (VOSS), and ownership cost satisfaction—which accounts for the highest importance weight in the study’s overall satisfaction index—receives the lowest average score among the four measures that are examined.

The 2013 study, based on evaluations of 8,387 online interviews with new-vehicle owners in the country after 12 to 36 months of ownership, evaluates four measures of satisfaction across the new-vehicle ownership experience. In order of importance, these measures are: ownership costs (42%); service satisfaction (23%); vehicle appeal (19%); and vehicle quality/reliability (16%).

Among all countries in which J.D. Power publishes the Vehicle Ownership Satisfaction Study, owners in Brazil place the most importance on the cost of owning a vehicle. In part, this is due to spending a larger percentage of their income on vehicle service and repairs, fuel, taxes, and insurance. 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 ›

India Automotive Customer Insights are Available on New Website

India Pg Region capture 1This month, J.D. Power Asia Pacific launched an India website to provide insights from automotive customer satisfaction research in one of the largest and most competitive markets in the global auto industry. Passenger-vehicle sales in India are expected to increase 9% this year, to 3.56 million units. India sales are expected to grow 200%, to 9.87 million units, by 2020, according to forecasts from LMC Automotive, J.D. Power’s strategic partner. This would make India the third-largest automotive market in the world, behind China and the United States.

J.D. Power’s India website, which can be accessed at, provides two destinations: one for consumers seeking product research to help them with their next car or light-truck purchase, and a second section that offers insight and information for automakers who want to understand the latest customer information to make improvements in products and services. Continue reading ›

Why do Shoppers Avoid Alternative Powertrain Vehicles?

More than one-third (36%) of new-vehicle shoppers avoid alternative powertrain vehicles—hybrid, plug-in hybrid or electric vehicles—mainly because of cost/price, according to our 2013 Avoider Study, which is based on responses from nearly 31,000 new-vehicle owners who registered their new car or light truck in May 2012.

The second-highest percentage of owners (25%) who avoid . . . Continue Reading Why do Shoppers Avoid Alternative Powertrain Vehicles?

Western Auto Conference Industry Panelists Discusses Self-Driving Cars

 Today’s post follows up our earlier post, Western Auto Conference Panel Talks about Mobility—Now and in the Future and includes excerpts from a panel of auto industry executives about alternative vehicles and car sharing with perspectives on smarter, semi-self-driving vehicles and a few comments about the future of mobility and selling electric vehicles. Joe White, senior editor at The Wall Street Journal, led this discussion with auto executives and a California dealer principal at the NADA/J.D. Power Western Automotive Conference. Continue reading ›

Some Vehicle Problems are Unique to Chinese Market

Dr. Mei Songlin

Dr. Mei Songlin

Many of the key vehicle problems and problem symptoms identified in our 2012 China Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS), which is based on evaluations of new-vehicle owner experience in China  after the first 25 to 36 months of ownership, are consistent with the top problems found in the 2012 China Initial Quality Study (IQS), which measures problems customers experience during the first two to six months of ownership. Continue reading ›

China’s Domestic Brands Mark Major Advance in Vehicle Dependability

Dr. Mei Songlin

Dr. Mei Songlin

For a second consecutive year, Chinese nameplates continue to close the gap with international brands in the long-term durability of their models, according to our recent 2012 China Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS). It’s also noteworthy that China’s domestic brands have made advances this year in both initial quality and in offering models that appeal to their new-vehicle owners.

Now in its third year, the 2013 VDS Study measures problems experienced during the past six months by original buyers of vehicles after they have owned their new models for 25 to 36 months. More than 14,100 new-vehicle owners from 37 cities across China were asked to evaluate their new vehicle in terms of 202 different problem symptoms in eight categories.*

This year, the gap in vehicle dependability between the country’s domestic brands and international brands has been reduced to 80 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100), down from 139 PP100 in 2011. Among China’s domestic brands, vehicle dependability in 2012 improves to an average of 250 PP100, vs. 327 PP100 in 2011. International brands also improve their dependability scores, averaging 170 PP100 in 2012, which is 18 fewer PP100 than in 2011. Continue reading ›

Diesel New-Vehicle Owners Are More Satisfied in India APEAL and IQS Studies

Mohit Arora

Mohit Arora

New-vehicle owners of models powered by diesel engines are, on the whole, more satisfied with their new vehicles than are owners of conventional gasoline-powered new vehicles, according to results in both the 2012 India Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study and the 2012 India Initial Quality Study (IQS).

In our recently released 2012 India APEAL Study, the gap in satisfaction scores between owners of diesel- and gasoline-powered vehicles has changed significantly during the past 4 years. In 2009, the average index score among owners of gasoline-powered vehicles was 3 points higher than among owners of diesel-powered vehicles. However, in 2012, the APEAL average index score is 22 points higher among owners of diesel vehicles than among owners of gasoline vehicles. In addition, overall satisfaction among owners of diesel-powered vehicles averages an APEAL index score of 839 (on a 1,000-point scale)—which is 24 index points higher than among owners of gasoline-powered vehicles (815). Continue reading ›

EV Battery Life, Range Anxiety Remain Concerns for Consumers

There still is anxiety among consumers about the cost and lifespan of electric vehicle (EV) batteries, the infrastructure needed to charge EVs, and the vehicle’s driving range, according to our 2012 Electric Vehicle Ownership Experience Study. Automakers need to continue to address these issues and educate consumers about the benefits of EV technologies in order to gain momentum in the marketplace.

Driving range and the availability of charging stations are the top concerns among consumers considering an EV for their next vehicle purchase. The study finds 12% of EV intenders worry about driving range. Yet, current EV owners indicate that their daily commute averages just 34 miles, which is well within the range of a fully charged EV. Continue reading ›