Young Two-Wheeler Owners Continue to Experience Higher Instances of Initial Quality Problems, J.D. Power Finds
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Bajaj, Hero, Suzuki and TVS Receive Model-Level Awards in One Segment Each; Honda Receives Two Model-Level Awards in Two Segments
SINGAPORE: 30 Jan. 2018 — Although initial product quality of two-wheelers in India has steadily improved over the years, young vehicle owners, who account for the majority of buyers, continue to experience higher instances of initial quality problems, according to the J.D. Power 2018 India Two-Wheeler Initial Quality StudySM (2WIQS), released today.
The study finds that younger owners—30 years and younger (58%)—experience higher levels of initial quality problems than owners who are 31 years or older (144 PP100 vs. 113 PP100, respectively). This difference (31 PP100) in problems experienced can be primarily attributed to younger buyers experiencing a higher number of manufacturing defects/ malfunctions problems in three categories measured in the study: ride and handling; fit and finish; and engine. All problems are summarized as the number of problems per 100 vehicles (PP100), with a lower PP100 score indicating a lower rate of problem incidence and therefore higher initial quality.
“While the industry has made significant strides in improving product quality over the years, the challenge lies in aligning vehicle design and execution with requirements from a very diverse set of customers who not only purchase differently but also have contrasting after-sales behavior,” said Kaustav Roy, Director at J.D. Power, Singapore. “With a vast young population being labelled as the driving force behind the Indian economy in years to come, OEMs that are able to better understand and incorporate the requirements of customers in this age bracket are likely to gain a competitive advantage.”
The study also measures key aspects surrounding the purchase process, and findings indicate notable differences between these two groups. While more younger buyers indicate using the internet to shop for a new two-wheeler than older buyers (19% vs. 11%, respectively), purchase reasons also differ between the two groups—19% of younger buyers say looks and styling is the main purchase reason compared with 12% of older buyers.
Following are some of the key findings of the study:
- Overall two-wheeler quality influences loyalty: Owners who experience fewer problems than expected are over two times more likely to recommend their two-wheeler model to family and friends compared with those owners who experience more problems than expected (53% vs. 7%, respectively).
- Initial quality improves in both scooter and motorcycle segments: Overall initial quality averages 121 PP100 for scooters and 136 PP100 for motorcycles, an improvement of 8 PP100 and 14 PP100, respectively, from last year. Among vehicle systems, the greatest year-over-year improvement is in the brake category.
- Salesperson explanations during vehicle delivery influences problem instances: More than three-fourths (77%) of owners were advised by the salesperson about the vehicle do’s and don’ts during vehicle delivery. These owners experienced significantly fewer instances of initial quality problems than those who were not advised of the same (101 PP100 vs. 229 PP100, respectively).
- First-time buyers cite fewer initial quality problems: More than three-fourths (82%) of two-wheeler owners are first-time buyers, and they cite fewer problems than those with previous ownership experience (121 PP100 vs. 175 PP100, respectively). The difference is largely influenced by problems experienced in the engine category.
Award recipient segments include scooters (executive) and motorcycles (economy, executive, upper executive and premium).
In the scooter segment, Honda Activa 125 (90 PP100) ranks highest among executive models.
In the motorcycle segment, Honda Dream Yuga and TVS Star City Plus (114 PP100) rank highest in a tie among economy models, and Hero Super Splendor (121 PP100) ranks highest among executive models. Suzuki Gixxer/ Gixxer SF (93 PP100) ranks highest among upper executive models, and Bajaj Avenger 220 (100 PP100) ranks highest among premium models.
The 2018 India Two-Wheeler Initial Quality Study (2WIQS) is based on evaluations from 10,102 owners who purchased a new two-wheeler vehicle between March 2017 and October 2017. The study includes 88 two-wheeler models from 10 makes. The study was fielded from September 2017 to December 2017 in 45 cities across India.
The study measures problems owners experienced with their new two-wheeler during the first two to six months of ownership. It examines 138 problem symptoms covering seven categories (listed in order of frequency of reported problems): engine; brakes; gauges and controls; fit and finish; lights/ electricals; ride and handling; and transmission.
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About J.D. Power in the Asia Pacific Region
J.D. Power has offices in Singapore, Bangkok, Beijing, Shanghai and Tokyo that conduct customer satisfaction research and provide consulting services in the automotive, information technology and finance industries in the Asia Pacific region. Together, the five offices bring the language of customer satisfaction to consumers and businesses in Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. J.D. Power is a portfolio company of XIO Group, a global alternative investments and private equity firm headquartered in London, and is led by its four founders: Athene Li, Joseph Pacini, Murphy Qiao and Carsten Geyer. Information regarding J.D. Power and its products can be accessed through the internet at india.jdpower.com.
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