The APEAL Study looks into how gratifying a new vehicle is to own and drive by measuring satisfaction across 10 performance categories: vehicle exterior; vehicle interior; storage and space; audio/ entertainment/ navigation; seats; heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC); driving dynamics; engine/ transmission; visibility and driving safety; and fuel economy.
Visibility and driving safety hold most weight in the small car market contributing 16% to the overall APEAL score. It’s the 3rd most impactful category in the midsize segment contributing 13% to overall satisfaction.
There’s been considerable increase in demand for car safety features these last few years, underscoring the need for automakers to develop safety solutions to address customer expectations. As India shows interest in basic safety features, globally, demand for advanced vehicle safety features is increasing. In developed markets, there’s growth in demand for emerging safety tech such as low speed collision avoidance systems and fully autonomous parking systems says Mohit Arora, executive director at J.D. Power Asia Pacific, Singapore.
Owners value driving convenience. Automatic transmissions are in use in about 5% of new vehicles sold in India now. Future trend reveals 82% of owners want AT in their next vehicle. APEAL score for mass market vehicles with AT average 869, compared to 854 among mass market vehicles with manual transmission.
Data reveals new-vehicle owners spend nearly 2 hours commuting each day, an average increase of about 15% since 2011. With 2.5+ million new passenger vehicles getting on the road in 2013, average commute time is expected to further increase, and supports customer demand for tech and features that make driving experience safer and less strenuous.
Ooverall vehicle APEAL score averages 854 in 2014, up from 845 in 2013. For newly launched models, it averages 855, compared with 854 for carry-over models in 2014.
In the fuel economy performance category, satisfaction for carry-over models averages 846, compared to 838 for all-new models. Lower scores for new models is in part attributed to higher expectations on fuel efficiency among new-vehicle owners as average price for petrol has increased nearly 56%, and diesel nearly 72% in these 5 years. Automakers/Dealers overpromise on fuel-efficiency, and actual fuel economy is 23% lower than average fuel economy owners were promised during the sales process.
Honda and Hyundai received 2 segment awards each: Honda Brio (upper compact car) and City (midsize car); and Hyundai Eon (entry compact car) and i10 (compact car).Other segment winners are Maruti Suzuki Swift DZire (entry midsize car), Nissan Terrano (SUV), Toyota Innova (MUV/ MPV), and Volkswagen Polo (premium compact car). Honda Brio, Hyundai i10 and Toyota Innova also rank highest in their respective segments in the J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2014 India Initial Quality Study (IQS).