Newly Launched 2-Wheeler Models Perform Better than Carry-Over Models on APEAL Satisfaction: J D Power

Buyers of newly launched two-wheeler models have higher satisfaction than buyers of carry-over models, according to the J D Power 2017 India Two-Wheeler Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (2WAPEAL) Study, released on March 30. However, satisfaction declines if buyers face problems with vehicle quality during the initial ownership period.

The study is a key industry benchmark that measures owners’ emotional attachment and level of excitement for new two-wheelers during the first two to six months of ownership. The study examines 34 attributes across six performance categories (in alphabetical order): control switches/ locks; engine and transmission performance; fuel economy; looks and styling; ride and handling; and seats. Overall APEAL performance is reported as an index score based on a 1,000-point scale, with a higher score indicating higher satisfaction.

In the motorcycle category, the newly launched models not only generate higher APEAL satisfaction than carry-over models from last year (831 vs 826, respectively), but also perform better in terms of initial quality problems1 experienced by buyers (139 PP1002 vs 152 PP100, respectively).

Among scooters, satisfaction with the newly launched models is 12 points lower than for carry-over models (817 vs 829, respectively). The reason is that newly launched scooter models fare worse than carry-over models with initial quality problems (146 PP100 vs 126 PP100, respectively).

“Two-wheeler manufacturers launch multiple new models each year that offer contemporary looks, styling and increased feature contenting,” said Kaustav Roy, Director at  J D Power, Singapore. “However, the quality of execution is pivotal to satisfaction. Buyers in India have a wide range of two-wheelers to choose from, thus it would be prudent for OEMs to ensure that their new products are of improved quality to benefit from sustained acceptance by customers.”

Following are some key findings of this year’s study:

•    Satisfaction leads to advocacy: Among highly satisfied owners (overall satisfaction of 904 points and above), more than two-thirds (70%) say they “definitely would” recommend their two-wheeler to a friend or relative, compared with just 37% of highly dissatisfied owners (overall satisfaction below 772) who would offer a similar recommendation.

•    Initial quality has a strong influence: Satisfaction among owners who have not experienced any initial quality problem (62%) with their two-wheeler during ownership is 66 points higher than among owners who report a problem (852 vs 786, respectively).

•    Explanation of features and benefits improves APEAL satisfaction: Overall satisfaction among owners who received an explanation about vehicle features and benefits during the delivery process (78%) averages 51 points higher than among those who did not receive such information (841 vs 790, respectively).

•    Greater satisfaction with looks and styling of newly launched two-wheelers: Satisfaction with the looks and styling of their vehicle is higher among owners of newly launched two-wheelers compared to that of buyers of two-wheeler models that were carried over from last year (846 vs 837, respectively).

“Because visual appeal—looks and styling—is the main purchase reason most often cited by buyers of newly launched two-wheelers, a more regular cycle of product styling updates by manufacturers would resonate well with consumers,” said Rajat Agarwal, two-wheeler industry expert at J D Power, Singapore.

Results by Segment

Award recipient segments include scooters (executive) and motorcycles (economy, executive, upper executive and premium).

In the scooter segment, Honda Activa I (844) ranks highest among executive models.

In the motorcycle segment, debutant Honda Livo and TVS Sport rank highest in a tie (842 each) among economy models, and Hero Super Splendor (836) ranks highest among executive models. Bajaj Avenger 150 (846), a debutant model, ranks highest among upper executive models while another debutant model, Honda CB Hornet 160R (858), ranks highest among premium models.

The 2017 India Two-Wheeler Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (2WAPEAL) Study is based on evaluations from 9,406 owners who purchased a new vehicle between March 2016 and October 2016. The study includes 87 two-wheeler models from 10 makes, and was fielded from September-December 2016 in 45 cities across India.

Ceat Ranks Highest in India for Original Equipment Tyre Customer Satisfaction

Another study by J D Power i.e. 2017 India Original Equipment Tyre Customer Satisfaction Index (TCSI) released on March 28, reveals that lower visibility of tyre brands among customer affects their relationship and confidence with those brands.

The study, now in its 17th year, measures satisfaction among original equipment tyre owners during the first 12 to 24 months of ownership across four factors: appearance; ride; durability; and traction/handling.

The study finds that 34% of customers cannot recall their tire brand. Further, only 58% of these customers say they “definitely would” repurchase the original brand, as compared to 65% of those customers who could identify their brand. In addition, the preference for OE-fitted tyre brand replacement has declined in the past five years to 46% in 2017 from 54% in 2013.

“Since tyre brand perception is a key driver when considering replacement tires, it may be prudent for the tire manufacturers to better engage with customers during the early stages of vehicle ownership,” said Kaustav Roy, Director, J D Power. “A positive product experience, coupled with sustained customer engagement, is likely to help drive the replacement demand.”

Following are some key findings of this year’s study:

•     Overall OE tyre customer satisfaction averages 873 points (on a 1,000-point scale), with no change from 2016.

•     Tyre satisfaction varies with vehicle segment. The van segment (883) leads the market this year, while SUV scores lowest (848).

•     Tyre quality improves with a very low problem incidence rate of 4% compared with 8% last year.

•     The study finds that 84% of owners who are highly satisfied (overall satisfaction of 962 and above) with their original tires say they "definitely would" recommend their tire brand. Among customers who are less satisfied (820 and below), only 35% say they "definitely would" recommend their tire brand.

Study Rankings

Ceat ranks highest in overall customer satisfaction (893) and performs well in the appearance factor. MRF ranks second (878).

The 2017 India Original Equipment Tyre Customer Satisfaction Index (TCSI) Study is based on 3,346 responses from new-vehicle owners who purchased their vehicle between May 2014 and August 2015. The study was fielded between May and August 2016.




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