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2013 UK Vehicle Ownership Satisfaction Study Results

2013 UK Vehicle Ownership Satisfaction Study Results

By Jeff Youngs, May 24, 2013
With new-vehicle sales in the United Kingdom expected to increase by more than one-sixth over the next five years, automakers around the world are seizing the opportunity to improve their customers' ownership experience, according to the recently released J.D. Power & Associates/What Car? 2013 UK Vehicle Ownership Satisfaction StudySM (VOSS).

The study examines customer satisfaction with their vehicle and dealer service, based on evaluations of four key measures that comprise the overall ownership experience (in order of importance) vehicle appeal (31%), which includes performance, design, comfort and features; ownership costs (25%), which includes fuel consumption, insurance and costs of service/repair; service satisfaction (22%); and vehicle quality and reliability (22%). According to the 2013 study, overall satisfaction among vehicle owners in the UK averages 776 on a 1,000-point scale.

"British automakers have made great strides in the past few years in terms of offering appealing product lines and improved service, which is something they've often struggled with in the past," said Mark Lendrich, senior research manager of vehicle management in Europe at J.D. Power & Associates. "Current forecasts predict that new-vehicle sales will increase nearly 18% in the UK in the next five years. This puts British brands in a positive position to both retain current customers and attract new buyers."

With an overall score of 827, Jaguar ranks highest in vehicle owner satisfaction for a second consecutive year. Jaguar performs particularly well in the service satisfaction, vehicle appeal, and vehicle quality and reliability measures. Following Jaguar in the rankings are Lexus (818), Honda (810), Skoda (809) and Mercedes-Benz (804). Ranking sixth is Land Rover (790), which improves six rank positions from 2012.

The Skoda Superb (830) ranks highest in the mid-size segment, and the Yeti (828) ranks highest in the compact SUV segment. Volkswagen's Fox ranks highest in the city car segment, and the Volkswagen Scirocco ranks highest in the sporty segment. Other top-ranked models in the 2013 UK VOSS include:

  • Citroen DS3 (small)
  • Toyota Prius (compact)
  • Jaguar XF (large and luxury)
  • Honda Jazz (small MPV)
  • Mercedes-Benz B-Class (MPV)

The study finds that vehicle owners' perceived cost of ownership is the most significant driver of loyalty to both the brand and the dealer. Among owners who provide a rating of 10 on a 10-point scale for ownership costs, 63% say they "definitely will" repurchase the same vehicle make again. In comparison, loyalty rates fall to 57% among owners who provide a rating of 10 for vehicle appeal; 49% for service; and 45% for quality and reliability.

Satisfaction with service from an authorized dealer plays a key role in whether new-vehicle owners will return for paid service after the warranty has expired. The likelihood to return for paid service is 88% among owners who indicate that they had an outstanding (rating it 10 on a 10-point scale) service experience. However, that percentage drops to just 7% among owners who indicate their experience was average, rating it 5.

"Owners of one- to three-year-old vehicles spent an average of £181 on their most recent service experience, so an 81-percentage-point gap may translate into millions of pounds of lost revenue for original equipment manufacturers and dealers that fail to deliver an outstanding experience," said Lendrich.

Seven of the 10 brands ranked highest in the overall index are also among the 10 brands with the fewest reported problems per 100 vehicles. According to the 2013 UK VOSS, the top five problems impacting quality and reliability scores are:

  1. Windows fog up excessively/don't clear as expected
  2. Heater doesn't heat up quickly enough
  3. Engine starting problem
  4. Excessive fuel consumption
  5. Other engine/transmission problem

The 2013 UK Vehicle Ownership Satisfaction Study is based on 16,104 online evaluations by vehicle owners in the UK after an average of two years of ownership. The study was fielded between December 2012 and February 2013.

Additional Research:

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