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 ›

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.
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Shorter Delivery Times in Japan Increases Sales Satisfaction Levels

Kimoto Taku NEW_C_Lg

Taku Kimoto

Customer satisfaction with the new-vehicle sales experience in Japan has improved as delivery times are nine days shorter on average than in 2012 when there were longer delays in delivery due to the initiation of an eco-car subsidy program, according to our 2013 Japan Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study.

This year, the average time for delivery to buyers of non-hybrid vehicles declines to 28 days from 34 days in 2012, and the delivery time for hybrids drops by 23 days and averages 50 days instead of 73 days. Among Japan’s domestic brands, Toyota—the largest seller of hybrid vehicles in Japan—and Honda, which had its production in 2012 negatively affected by flooding in Thailand, achieve notable reductions in delivery times. 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 ›

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 ›

Indonesia Dealer Service Infrastructure Strained by Sales Growth

Overall customer satisfaction with the authorized dealer service experience among new-vehicle owners in Indonesia declines 12 points from 2011, to 740 points (on a 1,000-point scale), partly due to a strain on the dealership service infrastructure caused by strong new-vehicle sales growth during the past 5 years, and hence more customers visiting dealer service centers, according to our 2012 Indonesia Customer Service Index (CSI) Study.

This year, satisfaction is lower across all five study factors,* with the largest declines in service initiation and service advisor. According to the study, only 37% of service customers received advance notice from their dealership that vehicle service was due—down 14 percentage points from 2011. In addition, the percentage of customers who scheduled a service visit in advance declined to 22% from 27% in 2011. Continue reading ›

Japan Sales Satisfaction: Lexus and Volkswagen Rank Highest in Their Segments

Among luxury brands, Lexus ranks highest with a score of 720 points (on a 1,000-point scale) in the J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2012 Japan Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) StudySM —35 points higher than the segment average (685). Lexus performs particularly well in three of the five factors* measured: sales system/process, facility and product exhibit . . . Continue Reading Japan Sales Satisfaction: Lexus and Volkswagen Rank Highest in Their Segments

Brazil Vehicle Ownership Satisfaction Rises Despite Impact of Higher Ownership Costs

Jon Sederstrom

Overall satisfaction among new-vehicle owners in Brazil, which is the world’s fifth-largest country in population and geographic size, improves by 8 points from last year to an average index score of 751 (on a 1,000-point scale), according to our 2012 Brazil Vehicle Ownership Satisfaction Study (VOSS).

The increase in overall owner satisfaction in Brazil could be partly due to the entrance of more brands in the market in addition to more model choices than ever before. At the brand level, it was the second straight year that Toyota is the highest-ranking brand in the study. Toyota is followed in the rankings by two new entrants: South Korea’s Hyundai and Kia brands. Continue reading ›

Ownership Satisfaction in Germany Differs among Groups of Buyers

 

Marcus Behrendt

It’s been 3 years since the German government eliminated scrappage program (2009) incentives to help encourage consumers in the German auto market to purchase new vehicles. In relation to the scrappage discount, we find that overall satisfaction among owners who purchased vehicles under the program is much lower than among owners who did not buy a vehicle through the discount program, according to the 2012 Germany Vehicle Ownership Satisfaction Study (VOSS), which J.D. Power conducts jointly with German auto magazine, AUTO TEST. *

In fact, satisfaction among the new-vehicle owners who accepted cash back for scrapping vehicles that were at least 9 years old is 30 index points lower than among those owners who did not receive a discount. It’s likely that the owners who traded in their older used vehicles may have had high expectations for their new vehicle and anticipated that the new vehicle would be perfect and that the dealership experience would be stellar. Also, consumers who took the discounts tend to be price sensitive and, according to J.D. Power research, that means they are likely to be very critical. Continue reading ›

Satisfying Website Visits Lead to More Showroom Traffic in Canada

J.D. Ney

A majority (76%) of new-vehicle shoppers in Canada who indicate having a highly satisfying experience while visiting an auto manufacturer’s website (score of at least 976 on a 1,000-point scale) say they are much more likely to visit that brand’s showroom for a test drive, according to our 2012 Canadian Manufacturer Website Evaluation Study.

 
As might be anticipated, among shoppers who have a less satisfying online experience (score of 500 points or below), only 14% say they will visit a dealership for a test drive. These study results indicate that there is a strong correlation between a satisfying online shopping experience leading to a visit to a dealer showroom and the likelihood of a vehicle purchase.

It’s encouraging this year that auto brands and their websites made significant advances in satisfying new-vehicle shoppers in Canada. The industry average rises 37 points to 821 from 784 in 2011, with increases across all four factors examined. Scores for Site speed and Appearance factors increased the most, based on analysis from some 3,078 new-vehicle shoppers who indicate they will be in the market for a new vehicle within the next 12 months. Continue reading ›