India Vehicle Quality Improves in Manufacturing but Design-Related Quality Lags, J.D. Power Finds

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Hyundai Leads Manufacturers with Three Model-Level Awards

SINGAPORE: 30 Nov. 2016 — While new-vehicle quality in India has significantly improved during the past few years, automakers are finding it challenging to reduce issues pertaining to vehicle design, according to the J.D. Power 2016 India Initial Quality StudySM released today.

The study, now in its 20th year, measures problems that owners experience with new vehicles during the first 2-6 months of ownership and examines more than 200 problem symptoms in eight vehicle categories (listed in order of frequency of reported problems): engine and transmission; driving experience; HVAC; vehicle exterior; features, controls and displays; vehicle interior; audio, entertainment and navigation; and seats. All problems are summarized as the number of problems per 100 vehicles (PP100), with a lower PP100 score indicating a lower incidence of problems and higher initial quality.

According to the study, the industry averages 95 PP100 in 2016, which is 25 PP100 fewer than in 2012. While problems related to manufacturing quality have declined by 21 PP100 in that time frame, design-related issues have only declined by 4 PP100.

“Strong focus over the years on manufacturing execution is yielding results,” said Mohit Arora, executive director at J.D. Power in Singapore. “Customers are clearly appreciating the same by citing fewer such issues during their initial vehicle ownership.”

Arora added, however, that the challenge lies in aligning vehicle design to a set of optimized customer requirements on fuel efficiency, HVAC effectiveness and ease of gearshift operations. “Given the nature of driving conditions in India, customer sensitivity toward comfort and ease of driving are likely to increase,” Arora said. “Manufacturers that are able to integrate these into their overall vehicle design would be in a better position to differentiate their products and build better advocacy for their brands.”

Key Findings

  • While both petrol and diesel models have shown strong improvement in initial quality during the past five years, the rate of improvement for diesel models is much higher at 31 PP100, compared with petrol models, which have improved by 18 PP100 during this time frame.
  • Repeat buyers tend to experience more initial quality issues, an overall 112 PP100 compared with first-time buyers at 83 PP100. The biggest difference emanates from design-related issues, which averages 13 PP100 more among repeat buyers than among first-time buyers.
  • Vehicle usage has a bearing on initial quality issues. Initial quality among customers who drive more than 750 kilometers per month is 124 PP100, compared with 87 PP100 among those who drive less than 750 kilometers per month.
  • Vehicle quality builds advocacy. Among vehicle owners who experience fewer problems than expected, 76% say they “definitely would” recommend their model to family and friends, while only 42% of those who experience more problems than expected say they “definitely would” recommend their vehicle to others.

2016 India IQS Rankings

Hyundai receives three model-level awards. The Hyundai Eon ranks highest (96 PP100) in a tie with Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 in the entry compact segment; the Hyundai i10 ranks highest in the compact segment with 64 PP100; and the Hyundai Creta, in its debut year, ranks highest in the SUV segment with 68 PP100.

Honda and Toyota each receive model-level awards. The Honda Amaze and the Honda City rank highest in the entry midsize and midsize segment with 43 PP100 and 58 PP100, respectively.

The Toyota Etios Liva/Cross and Toyota Innova rank highest in the upper compact and MUV/MPV segments with 68 PP100 and 53 PP100, respectively.

The Volkswagen Polo/Cross ranks highest in the premium compact segment with 55 PP100.

The 2016 India Initial Quality Study is based on evaluations from 8,330 vehicle owners who purchased a new vehicle between November 2015 and July 2016. The study includes 78 vehicle models from 17 makes. The study was fielded from May to September 2016 in 30 cities across India.

Media Relations Contacts

John Tews; J.D. Power; Troy, Michigan 48083 USA; 001-248-680-6218; media.relations@jdpa.com

About J.D. Power in the Asia Pacific Region

J.D. Power has offices in Tokyo, Singapore, Beijing, Shanghai, Malaysia and Bangkok that conduct customer satisfaction research and provide consulting services in the automotive, information technology and finance industries in the Asia Pacific region. Together, the six offices bring the language of customer satisfaction to consumers and businesses in Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. Information regarding J.D. Power and its products can be accessed through the Internet at asean-oceania.jdpower.com.

Media Contacts

Troy, Michigan
(248) 680-6218