New-Vehicle Buyers in Thailand are More Informed Before Showroom Visits

Traffic on Thai StreetNew-vehicle buyers in Thailand use an average of three sources to gather information before visiting a dealership—up from an average of 2.5 sources in 2012, according to the 2013 Thailand Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study. A larger percentage of Thai new-car buyers also use the Internet (45%) than in the previous year (33%).

A few more highlights from this year’s study:

• Overall sales satisfaction averages 904 (on a 1,000-point scale), a 4-point improvement from 2012. Continue reading ›

After-Sale Service Satisfaction Rises in Indonesia; Ford Ranks Highest in CSI

Road in Jakarta, IndonesiaOverall customer satisfaction with the after-sale service experience in Indonesia improves by 15 points from 2012, to an average of 755 (based on a 1,000-point scale), according to the 2013 Indonesia Customer Service Index (CSI) Study. The largest advances come in two of five factors* evaluated—satisfaction with service initiation and service advisor.

The improvement in after-sale service satisfaction is noteworthy as there has been sales growth in the country during the past few years, which makes it critical to continue to manage customer expectations. Light-vehicle deliveries in 2013 are expected to increase by about 10% (to 1.1 million units) from 2012, based on a forecast from strategic partner LMC Automotive. Continue reading ›

August U.S. New-Vehicle Sales Move Ahead with Gusto

AIS04 car shopperAugust was another month of stellar new-vehicle sales in the U.S. auto industry. In early reports, all three Detroit-based automakers celebrated double-digit gains at the end of a month that was capped off by the Labor Day sales weekend. The three major Japanese automakers posted even stronger double-digit increases than their U.S. rivals. Nearly all multi-franchise automakers reported better sales in August this year vs. 2012.

Consumers continued to replace their aging vehicles—averaging 11 years old—at a healthy pace that matches a monthly forecast update from J.D. Power’s Power Information Network® (PIN) and strategic partner LMC Automotive. Easier credit terms, including long-term loans and more reasonable lease deals, helped spur sales.

Total sales (retail and fleet) reached 1.5 million units for a selling-day adjusted increase of 12.7% from August 2012—the highest unit sales volume since May 2007. J.D. Power projected that the seasonally adjusted annual selling rate (SAAR) would surpass 16 million, which it did.
Continue reading ›

Clean Diesel Makes Inroads in the U.S.; Sees Slowdown in Europe

Tim_Dunne

Tim Dunne

As clean diesel powertrains become more prevalent and popular in the U.S. market, especially in VW and Audi brand product lineups sold here, it appears that diesels are becoming less attractive in the world’s largest diesel market: Europe, according to a recent article, “Are Diesel Cars in Europe Starting a Long Slow Decline?” in Green Car Reports as well as J.D. Power research.

The current reduction in diesels in Europe may be mainly due to new regulations that have been passed by the EU and/or are being considered in individual European countries.

As recently as 2012, the diesel share in the European market was 46.0%, according to Mike Omotoso, senior manager of global powertrain at LMC Automotive, J.D. Power’s strategic partner. In 2013, LMC Automotive projects the diesel share to edge down by slightly more than 1 percentage point to 44.9%, and the outlook for 2014 is for a 44.0% diesel share in Europe—down 2 points from 2012. Continue reading ›

Large Pickups Bolster July U.S. Sales; Consumers Enticed by Easier Credit Terms

CarDealership Compact CUV 06In July, consumers continued to replace aging vehicles and take advantage of easier credit, including low-interest rate loans and longer terms. New-vehicle sales totaled 1.313 million units in July and were up 9.4% on a selling-day adjusted basis from July 2013, according to J.D. Power’s Power Information Network® (PIN) and strategic partner LMC Automotive. The seasonally adjusted annual selling rate in July was 15.8 million units. There was one more selling day in July 2013 than in July 2012.

Large pickups and compacts—especially compact cars and compact crossovers—outpaced most other segments as nearly all U.S. automakers reported higher sales than in July 2012. Some U.S. automakers said they had their best July sales since 2006—before the Great Recession. Continue reading ›

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

Mark_Lendrich

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 ›

U.S. Auto Sales Reach Post-Great Recession High Mark in March

Salesperson and Couple at DealershipSales of new cars and light trucks in the United States may hit their best mark in March since before the start of the Great Recession in December 2007, despite news about the fiscal cliff and sequester in Washington, D.C. Economic news was more positive with better employment figures in March, which is giving car buyers renewed confidence.

 New-car shoppers continued to replace aging vehicles and took advantage of easier credit including low-interest-rate loans. A proliferation of new and refreshed models—including popular crossovers and large pickups—also enticed buyers into showrooms. Discounts on large pickup models that are being replaced by new 2014 models as well as a recovery in the housing sector helped prime the market for large pickups. It should also be noted that March typically is a strong month for the auto business.

 In early reports, J.D. Power’s Power Information Network® (PIN) and its strategic partner LMC Automotive report that automakers sold 1.45 million units in the third month of 2013. If sales are adjusted for one less selling day in March this year, deliveries rose 7.4% from March 2012, which translates to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 15.2 million units. Continue reading ›

Young Buyers are Attracted to Import Compacts in 2012

2012 Dodge Charger SRT8Import car models—especially compacts—attracted the highest percentages of younger buyers (ages 16-35) in the past calendar year, based on analysis of real-time transaction data from J.D. Power’s Power Information Network® (PIN).

Unlike 2011, however, one of the 10 models with the highest percentages of young buyers in 2012 was a domestic, full-size model from Fiat-Chrysler—the Dodge Charger. Also, two of the 10 models were compact premium models from the Honda Group—Acura’s new entry-level ILX and the current TSX compact premium conventional models. All three of these new additions to the young buyer list had suggested retail prices that were just above $30,000. Continue reading ›

Toyota Group, GM Models Receive Most Segment-Level VDS Awards

2010 Lexus RX Series  The Toyota Group earns seven segment-level dependability awards in the J.D. Power and Associates 2013 U.S. Vehicle Dependability StudySM (VDS), which is based on responses from owners of 3-year old vehicles (2010 model year). General Motors follows with four segment-level model awards.

Toyota Motor Corp.’s three brands—Toyota, Lexus and Scion—had a total of seven models that received awards for the lowest problems per 100 vehicles (PP100) scores in the 18 award-eligible segments.* One of these models, the Lexus RX, achieves the lowest PP100 score in the industry—57 PP100. This is the first time in the history of the VDS that a crossover or SUV has achieved this distinction, and a 41% improvement in reported problems in comparison to the model’s performance in J.D. Power’s Initial Quality Study (IQS) for 2010. Continue reading ›

Lexus, Porsche Rank Highest in Dependability; Ram Dependability Improves Most

Long-term dependability improved for a majority of automotive brands included in our 2013 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS), which assesses problems experienced during the past 12 months by original owners of three-year-old vehicles (those that were introduced for the 2010 model year). For a second consecutive year, Lexus received the lowest PP100 score—71 PP100—which . . . Continue Reading Lexus, Porsche Rank Highest in Dependability; Ram Dependability Improves Most