'New buyers go for vehicles with less initial quality hitches'

Written by PTI | Mumbai | Updated: Dec 1 2013, 00:15am hrs
CarsThe study measures problems that owners experience with their new vehicle during the first two to six months of the purchase (Reuters)
New vehicle buyers in India are more frequently choosing to purchase vehicles with fewer initial quality problems, according to a study.

Besides, the shift towards purchasing above-industry average quality vehicles is more pronounced among experienced/ repeat buyers, with 27 per cent choosing higher quality vehicles during the same period, J D Power Asia Pacific said in a study carried out recently.

The firm conducts customer satisfaction research and also provides consulting services in the automotive, information technology and finance industries.

The study measures problems that owners experience with their new vehicle during the first two to six months of the purchase.

The study- JD Power Asia Pacific 2013 India Initial Quality Study- also found that the sales volumes of automakers that have quality above-industry average initial quality have increased by an average of six per cent since 2011.

In contrast, automakers whose customers report more quality problems than average have experienced an 8 per cent decline in sales during the same period, it said.

"With quality being one of the key drivers for purchasing vehicles, automakers need to focus on achieving exceptional quality levels," J D Power Asia Pacific, Singapore, executive director Mohit Arora said.

Manufacturers that are able to consistently deliver a high level of quality may be able to garner much higher growth in sales, even in today's challenging economic environment, he said.

On average, sales volume among vehicles that ranked highest in their segment in 2013 has more than doubled since 2011, Arora said.

The study examines more than 200 problem symptoms covering eight vehicle categories like engine and transmission, vehicle exterior, driving experience, controls and displays and navigation among others.

All problems are summarised as the number of problems per 100 vehicles (PP100). Lower PP100 scores indicate a lower rate of problem incidence and therefore higher initial quality.

Overall initial quality in India averages 115 PP100 in 2013, an improvement from 120 PP100 in 2012, the study said.