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.

Tokyo Street TrafficOverall satisfaction with OE tires is 561 (on a 1,000-point scale). In addition, satisfaction is highest in the Midsize vehicle segment, with an average score of 590, followed by the Minivan segment at 557 and the Mini-Car segment at 529.

In the overall tire brand customer satisfaction rankings, Bridgestone ranks highest in two of the three award-eligible segments—Mini-Car and Midsize—while Dunlop ranks highest in the Minivan segment.

A few more highlights from the online study that is based on responses from 5,756 new-vehicle owners during the first five to 16 months of ownership are included:

• Overall satisfaction is 54 points higher among owners who experience no problems (571) than among those who experience one tire problem (517).

• Only 14% of owners perceive that their vehicle’s factory-equipped tires contribute to fuel efficiency.

• Among owners who rate their tires highly for fuel economy (10 on a 10-point scale), 88% indicate that they intend to repurchase the same brand of tires when they need to be replaced.

• Overall, one-third (34%) of owners use winter tires, with usage rising to 96% among those who live in heavy snowfall areas in Japan.

• 51% of owners who are highly satisfied with their OE tires (ratings of 8 to 10) have already purchased the same brand of winter tires for their vehicle.

As sales of hybrid, electric, and other fuel-efficient vehicles increase, the number of OE tire brands that offer tires designated as fuel-efficient is increasing as well. Yet customer awareness of fuel-efficient tires is low. In the replacement tire market, however, consumers are more aware of fuel-efficiency ratings because fuel economy is evaluated in Japan’s tire labeling system. For tire makers to improve customer loyalty, it’s important to make customers aware of their products’ benefits through marketing and sales programs.Taku Kimoto, executive director of the automotive division at J.D. Power Asia Pacific, Tokyo

 Note: The J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2013 Japan Original Equipment Tire Customer Satisfaction Index (OE-TSI) StudySM  evaluates owner satisfaction with their tires by measuring four factors: traction/handling; ride; wearability; and appearance.


Bookmark and Share

Leave a Reply




You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>