New car buyers in India increasing, but negligibly

Following higher interest rates, cost of fuel and an otherwise dismal economy, actual numbers of new vehicle owners in India has increased only marginally in…

Following higher interest rates, cost of fuel and an otherwise dismal economy, actual numbers of new vehicle owners in India has increased only marginally in the current year as compared to 2011. While this number is not significant enough to say that the auto industry thrived during the current year, the incidence of problems related to excessive fuel consumption has dropped dramatically in the past five years.

JD Power Asia Pacific 2012 India Initial Quality Study has released their report on findings during the current year. Well versed with the market conditions and with over 16 years of experience in equating the problems of owners while dealing with new vehicles in the initial few months of ownership, the study revealed it findings on a study based on the current year.

The body took into consideration over 200 problem symptoms in 8 categories of vehicles while conducting this study. The study covered engine and transmission, vehicle exterior, driving experience, controls, displays, interior arrangements, audio, navigation and sound systems. A report was tabled on number of problems per 100 vehicles while the lower scores indicated that there were lower rates of problems or constraints experienced in new vehicles and a higher rate of satisfaction.

Auto News Release

2012 India Initial Quality Study (IQS)

  • Date Published:¬†11/30/2012

J.D. Power Asia Pacific Reports:
New-Vehicle Owners in India Report Significantly Fewer Fuel Consumption-Related Problems During the Past Five Years

Honda and Toyota Each Receive Two Model-Level Initial Quality Awards

SINGAPORE: 30 November 2012 РWhile the incidence of initial quality problems reported by new-vehicle owners in India is slightly higher in 2012 than in 2011, the incidence of problems related to excessive fuel consumption has significantly declined during the past five years, according to the J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2012 India Initial Quality StudySM (IQS) released today.

The study, now in its 16th year, measures problems owners experience with their new vehicle during the first two to six months of ownership and examines more than 200 problem symptoms covering eight vehicle categories (listed in order of frequency of reported problems): engine and transmission; vehicle exterior; driving experience; HVAC; features, controls and displays; vehicle interior; seats; and audio, entertainment and navigation. All problems are summarized as the number of problems per 100 vehicles (PP100). Lower PP100 scores indicate a lower rate of problem incidence and higher initial quality.

Overall initial quality in India averages 120 PP100 in 2012, which is a slight increase from 119 PP100 in 2011. The number of owner-reported initial quality problems has remained largely unchanged across all categories from 2011.

There has been a significant reduction of 23 percent in the incidence of problems related to excessive fuel consumption during the past five years, which indicates that automakers in India are producing more fuel-efficient vehicles. Vehicle owners report fuel economy figures in 2012 that are 10 percent higher than in 2008.

“Historically, fuel efficiency has been one of the key drivers of model consideration and purchase in India,” said Mohit Arora, executive director at J.D. Power Asia Pacific, Singapore. “The reduction in fuel consumption-related problems is a result of both the advancements in engine technology and the adoption of smaller engine capacities in the Indian automotive industry. The effectiveness of these initiatives is clearly visible via fewer owner-reported problems with excessive fuel consumption.”

However, the study also finds a gap between the promise of fuel efficiency made during the purchase process and the actual fuel efficiency experienced by owners.¬† In 2012, 67 percent of new-vehicle owners report that their vehicle’s fuel efficiency was less than what their salesperson communicated to them during the purchase process, an increase of five percentage point since 2008.

“Fuel efficiency perceptions remain an area that the industry still needs to work on,” said Arora. “As technological advancements make vehicles more sophisticated, clearer communication during the purchase process will help set more realistic owner expectations on product performance. It would be prudent for automakers and their dealer networks to continue efforts to bridge the gap between expectations and reality on product performance.”

Honda and Toyota each have two models that rank highest in their respective segments. The Honda City ranks highest in the midsize segment for a 10th consecutive year, while the newly launched Honda Brio ranks highest in the premium compact car segment. The Toyota Innova ranks highest in the MUV/ MPV segment for a sixth consecutive year, and the Toyota Fortuner ranks highest in the SUV segment.

The Hyundai Santro receives the award in the compact car segment, and the Maruti Suzuki Swift DZire receives the award in the entry midsize car segment for a third consecutive year.

The study finds that vehicle owner expectations of the incidence of quality issues they may experience have a strong bearing on model advocacy. Among vehicle owners who experience more problems than expected, 38 percent say they “definitely would” recommend their model, compared with 73 percent among those who experience fewer problems than expected.

The 2012 India Initial Quality Study (IQS) is based on evaluations from 8,688 owners who purchased a new vehicle between November 2011 and July 2012. The study includes 94 vehicle models from 16 makes. The study was fielded from May to September 2012 in 25 cities across India.

About J.D. Power Asia Pacific
J.D. Power Asia Pacific has offices in Tokyo, Singapore, Beijing, Shanghai and Bangkok that conduct customer satisfaction research and provide consulting services in the automotive, information technology and finance industries. Together, the five offices bring the language of customer satisfaction to consumers and businesses in China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan and Thailand. Information regarding J.D. Power Asia Pacific and its products can be accessed through the Internet at www.jdpower.com. Media e-mail contact: xingti_liu@jdpower.com.sg

About J.D. Power and Associates
Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company operating in key business sectors including market research, forecasting, performance improvement, Web intelligence and customer satisfaction.¬† The company’s quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually.¬† For more information on¬†car¬†reviews¬†and ratings,¬†car insurance,¬†health insurance,¬†cell phone ratings, and more, please visitJDPower.com. J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

About The McGraw-Hill Companies
McGraw-Hill announced on September 12, 2011, its intention to separate into two companies: McGraw-Hill Financial, a leading provider of content and analytics to global financial markets, and McGraw-Hill Education, a leading education company focused on digital learning and education services worldwide. McGraw-Hill Financial’s leading brands include Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services, S&P Capital IQ, S&P Dow Jones Indices, J.D. Power and Associates and Platts, a leader in commodities information. With sales of $6.2 billion in 2011, the Corporation has approximately 23,000 employees across more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Additional information is available athttp://www.mcgraw-hill.com/.