Ownership Costs Most Important in 2013 Brazil VOSS

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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 ›

Maruti Suzuki, Toyota Earn Most Segment Awards in 2013 India VDS

Maruti Suzuki and Toyota each earn two awards for producing models with the fewest problems per 100 vehicles (PP100) in their respective segments, according to the J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2013 India Vehicle Dependability StudySM (VDS). Other nameplates earning segment-level model awards for vehicle dependability are: Honda, Chevrolet and Ford.

Although there are 11 . . . Continue Reading Maruti Suzuki, Toyota Earn Most Segment Awards in 2013 India VDS

Overall Vehicle Dependability in India Dips, Repair Visits Rise

Mohit Arora

Mohit Arora

For a second straight year, overall dependability of vehicles that are 30 to 42 months old in India declines, according to our 2013 India Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS), with a 24% increase in problems across all problem categories and for all models.

The study, now in its sixth year, measures problems experienced by 7,032 original owners in 25 cities who purchased a new vehicle between July 2009 and September 2010. Some 169 different problem symptoms are probed in nine problem categories* to calculate the overall vehicle dependability index.

In 2013, overall vehicle dependability in India averages 280 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100), compared with 225 PP100 in 2012, with a lower score reflecting higher long-term vehicle quality. We should note that the increase in problems this year cannot be attributed to a major increase in one or more of the areas evaluated, nor to all-new models included in the study. Continue reading ›

Building Loyalty, Improving Service are Keys to Satisfaction in Germany’s Auto Market

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Mark Lendrich

In light of a less-than-robust outlook for new-vehicle sales in Germany during the next few years, automakers and dealers need to focus on loyalty, awareness of crucial factors that influence the purchase decision, and they need to improve service business, according to our 2013 Germany Vehicle Ownership Satisfaction Study (VOSS), a collaborative effort with AUTO TEST, the magazine in Germany for readers planning to buy a new car.

In 2013, overall satisfaction among owners of one- to three-year-old vehicles in Germany averages 789 points (on a 1,000-point scale). In the 2013 study, vehicle appeal, which accounts for 27% of the index weight, and ownership costs (25%) are the two key drivers of overall satisfaction. The remaining two factors evaluated and their weights are: vehicle quality and reliability (24%); and service satisfaction (23%). Continue reading ›

Auto Insurance Claims Satisfaction Dips; Out-of-Pocket Expenses Up

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Jeremy Bowler

Satisfaction with the experience of filing and settling an auto claim among customers who settled a claim in the past 6 months dropped from the previous period, partly due to higher out-of-pocket costs (including the deductible and car rental), according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2013 Auto Claims Satisfaction StudySM—Wave 2. Consumers who settled an auto insurance claim with their provider in the latest period paid an average of $499 for repairs, up $30 from $469 in 2012.

We see that satisfaction tends to slip during the winter months for several reasons. First, when consumers have an accident and need to repair their vehicle during the winter holidays, it’s not only an inconvenience, but it’s frustrating because they may have to dip into holiday savings to pay for repairs.

Another reason for the 11-point dip in satisfaction to 850 (on a 1,000-point scale) is that road conditions tend to batch accidents in the winter, causing volume peaks for the repair industry. This shows up in longer appraisal, settlement and repair times. Continue reading ›

Dealerships Rely on Service Business; Single-Point Stores Still Viable

NY Auto Forum Dealer Paneli-CQFWkSW-SThree auto retailer owner/operators discussed opportunities and challenges that lie ahead for dealerships today and in the near future, during a one-day New York Automotive Forum jointly sponsored by J.D. Power and Associates and the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) that was held before the New York International Auto Show (March 29 – April 7). The following post features dealer views on service business and the outlook for single-point dealerships.

Moderator: Glenn Mercer, Independent Consultant

Panelists:

Earl Hesterberg, President and Chief Executive Officer, Group 1 Automotive, Houston, TX; the fourth-largest public dealership group in the U.S., U.K. and Brazil (142 dealerships)

Jon Lancaster, Retired Toyota/Lexus Dealer, Madison, WI

Wesley (Wes) L. Lutz, Owner, Extreme Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep, Inc., Jackson, MI

What About the Aging Fleet and Service Work?

Glenn: Moving to the “bricks” side of things—service. As was mentioned in an earlier presentation, the average age of the fleet in the U.S. is something like 11 years. The older model—sweet spot for a dealer was 1-5 years old and the independent aftermarket kicks in at 4-9. Now you’ve got a whole slog of cars that are way out there. Are those lost forever—the 17-year-old car? Or at some point do you think you could claw back this increasingly elderly fleet?

Wes: The whole business model has changed. Ten to 15 years ago we were doing 80% warranty and 20% customer pay. It is now 20% warranty and 80% customer pay. So we are learning as an industry how to approach those customers. For years and years, we didn’t have to worry about those customers. We’d come out with a recall and it was wonderful because our shops were busy all day long. We’re getting better at it and we’re getting more competitive because you have to be competitive today with the price transparency on the Internet. Continue reading ›

Lexus Remains Highest-Ranking Brand in CSI; GMC Places Highest among Mass-Market Nameplates

Lexus logo Picture 7For a fifth straight year, Lexus ranks highest in overall customer service satisfaction, and is also the highest-performing Premium brand, while GMC earns the highest score among Mass-Market brands, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2013 Customer Service Index (CSI) Study, SM which is based on responses from 91,000 owners or lessees of one- to three-year-old vehicles who have taken their vehicle to a dealer for maintenance or repair service in the past 6 months.

At the industry level, both Premium and Mass-Market brands improve by 11 index points this year. Although Premium brands receive the highest scores and represent the top 10 brands in the overall industry rankings, some individual Mass-Market brands made strong strides forward this year. For instance, all four General Motors brands perform well: Cadillac ranks second-highest overall and among Premium brands, and among Mass-Market brands, GMC, Buick and Chevrolet are among the four highest-ranking nameplates, along with BMW Group’s Mini. Continue reading ›

Customer Service Satisfaction Significantly Improves in All Factors

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Chris Sutton

At the industry level, overall satisfaction with customer service increases by 10 points from 2012, which is a pretty significant improvement, according to our 2013 Customer Service Index (CSI) Study. Dealerships are making marked improvements in customer service, as index scores in all five factors measured in the study have increased by double digits from a year ago.

Across-the-board improvements may be partly due to the fact that an even larger percentage of customers (77%) are returning to the dealership for maintenance visits rather than for repair work. A year ago, 72% of customers indicated that their most recent visit to a dealer service department was for an oil change or routine maintenance. In addition, due to a contraction in new-vehicle sales during the Great Recession years of 2008-2009, there is a smaller vehicle population and dealers are working harder to grow and retain service customers.

The 2013 CSI Study finds that there is a higher percentage of maintenance visits at the dealership vs. visits for repair work, which aligns with the fact that the quality of vehicles continues to improve, based on the record improvement in initial vehicle quality noted in our 2012 Initial Quality Study (IQS). In addition, we see that customers are coming back to the dealership for maintenance they can schedule in advance, which is definitely more convenient to them—rather than having to set up repairs times, which may be unexpected or unplanned. Continue reading ›

Overall Auto Insurance Claims Satisfaction Improves with Faster Settlements

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Jeremy Bowler

The average time that a claimant waits to receive payment or a settlement in an auto physical damage loss dropped by 2.5 days to 13.9 days in the fourth quarter of 2012 vs. an average 16.4 days in the same period of 2011, according to our 2013 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study—Wave 1.*

As claims are being paid faster, satisfaction with the auto insurance claims process improves. According to the study, overall claimant satisfaction rose by 6 points to 861 (on a 1,000-point scale) from the fourth quarter in 2011—mainly due to an 11-point advance in settlement satisfaction. Slight increases in the ratings of two attributes of this factor—fairness of the claim settlement and timing of the settlement—contributed to the improvement. Continue reading ›