JD Power Asia Pacific study offers details on brand performance and driver satisfaction among tractor users in India. Tractor Performance Index study draws attention to performance of Indian tractor market and various problems faced by users with unsatisfactory machine performance and extreme and uneven tyre wear being a red area. Quality and reliability were evaluated for 12-24-month-old tractors with focus on experiences and ratings of actual and perceived quality issues. Machine performance index took into consideration engine and transmission; hydraulic and couplings; tyres; tractor structure; overall styling and design; driving comfort; and driveability.
Engine and transmission, hydraulic and couplings, and tyre categories impact owner satisfaction greatly, but were found to be lowest satisfaction categories in the machine performance index. The Indian tractor market study measured problems owners face with a new tractor across 88 problem areas with this year’s average being 203 PP100. About three-fourth (74 pct) of all problems reported were in engine and transmission; driving and operation; electrical; and hydraulics and couplings categories.
Excessive or uneven tyre wear; hydraulic system hard to operate; engine overheating; and electrical wiring problems are frequent disturbances in the Indian tractor market. Excessive or uneven tyre wear is most irksome, and was reported most frequently by owners using implements such as a rotavator, cultivator or plough.
Mohit Arora, Executive Director, J.D. Power Asia Pacific says use of implements improves productivity, but if matched incorrectly, aggravate problems related to tyres. Tractor manufacturers should educate farmers regarding implements being used to minimise general discontent. Improving product quality may not always yield owner satisfaction unless implements are matched to tractors.
JD Power Asia Pacific Customer Service Index highlighted the after sales service and maintenance problems faced by users. Service satisfaction index considers service quality; service initiation; service engineer; and service handover. Parts operation index focused on parts, speed of parts delivery and parts value for money, and other parameters. The study find authorized Indian tractor market dealers reverted back to 8 pct of owners for routine maintenance interactions. Waiting time for maintenance extended to 2.5 hours with 19 pct owners having to wait more than a day for tractor servicing.
Dr. Gordon Shields, director, J.D. Power Asia Pacific says proactive dealers can connect with farmers so tractors are correctly maintained. Customers are to be encouraged to undertake basic and regular maintenance, which is viable for a dealer, and reduces breakdowns and improves uptime. He suggests Indian tractor market dealers should consider multiple payment options for farmers so they can spread their payments over time, which could help boost regular maintenance.
Fair pricing drew brickbats. 13 pct of owners say charges are higher than estimated. Transparency in servicing was a concern. Only 21 pct service customers received explanations of maintenance work undertaken before and after the service/repair was completed.
Studies conducted by J D Power Asia Pacific were based on inputs from a total of 4,789 tractor owners who had made purchases during July 2012 to November 2013. Studies were fielded during July – November 2014 across 14 Indian states. In the 31 hp segment Mahindra Swaraj ranked highest with a score of 833 points. Mahindra ranked highest in the above 50 hp segment scoring a total of 856 points. Eicher scored of 826 in 31-40 hp segment to top the chart, and the 41-50 hp segment, John Deere ranked highest with 832 points. New Holland ranked highest in after Indian tractor market sales customer service, followed by Massey Ferguson, while John Deere and Sonalika tied at 3rd spot with 778 points each.