2011 Italy Vehicle Ownership Satisfaction Study
J.D. Power and Associates and Quattroruote Magazine Report:
German Automakers Sweep Top Three Spots for Vehicle Ownership Satisfaction in Italy
Audi Receives Award for Service Satisfaction, While Volvo Receives Award for Vehicle Appeal and Mazda Receives Award for Quality
ROME: 21 December 2011 ? New-vehicle owner satisfaction is particularly high among Italian owners of German vehicles, as Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen each rank highest in satisfaction with the vehicle ownership experience, according to the J.D. Power and Associates/Quattroruote Magazine 2011 Italy Vehicle Ownership Satisfaction StudySM (VOSS) released today.
The study finds that all three German brands improve from 2010. Audi, which ranks highest, improves nine index points to score 779 on a 1,000-point scale. Mercedes-Benz, which improves by five index points, ranks second with 777. Volkswagen ranks third with 774, a 23-point improvement from 2010, when it ranked ninth.
The study, based on owner evaluations of their vehicles and dealers, is the only one of its kind in the Italy automotive market. It provides consumers and automakers with a comprehensive view of the new-vehicle ownership experience, taking into account four key measures. In order of importance, they are: ownership costs (32%), including fuel consumption, insurance and costs of service/repair; vehicle appeal (29%), which includes performance, design, comfort and features; vehicle quality and reliability (21%); and dealer service satisfaction (19%). The study is designed to help consumers make better-informed purchase decisions, as well as to assist automakers in designing and building better vehicles and understanding customer priorities for satisfaction.
The study finds that overall satisfaction among vehicle owners in Italy has improved to an average of 735 in 2011, compared with 729 in 2010, due to notable increases in satisfaction with dealer service and ownership costs. These gains are slightly offset by a decline in satisfaction with vehicle quality and reliability.
?The data is clear: giving customers great ownership experiences keeps them coming back to dealers for service work, and puts good brands on shopping lists when it comes time to buy or recommend,? said Marcus Behrendt, director at J.D. Power and Associates. ?In these increasingly tough times, it just makes good sense to take great care of current customers for future business opportunities.?
According to Behrendt, dealers must deliver highly satisfying service on a consistent basis in order to retain paid service business. Among owners who are ?delighted? with their service experience (scores averaging 901 or higher), 76 percent say they will return to the dealer for paid service work. In contrast, only 24 percent of customers with lower levels of satisfaction say the same. Practices that are essential to achieving high service satisfaction and customer retention rates include completing work correctly the first time; having the vehicle ready when promised; and ensuring the service adviser pays enough attention to details.
The study also finds that fuel consumption and service repair costs are particularly influential in satisfaction with ownership costs. Ownership costs satisfaction is lower among owners of vehicles with petrol engines, on average, compared with owners of vehicles powered by other fuel types, including diesel and hybrid-electric engines.
Audi ranks highest in satisfaction with dealer service with a score of 786. Volvo ranks highest in vehicle appeal with a score of 805. In addition, Mazda models have the fewest customer-reported problems in the industry, averaging just 250 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100). Citro?n, Toyota and Volkswagen each perform particularly well in the ownership costs measure.
The study finds a strong relationship between a brand?s appeal and quality scores and owner loyalty. Brands with the highest scores in both factors, in general, have the highest retention rates and the highest percentage of owners who ?definitely will? recommend their brand to friends and family.
?While there are some rare exceptions, this presents a compelling case for automakers to deliver on both measures to achieve strong customer loyalty and advocacy,? said Massimo Nascimbene, deputy editor of Quattroruote.
J.D. Power?s self-funded Voice-of-the-Customer syndicated studies evaluate products and services based on actual consumer feedback. The research is designed to help businesses make informed decisions about product and service improvements. Study results are based solely on the opinions of consumers, not the opinion of J.D. Power.
The 2011 Italy Vehicle Ownership Satisfaction Study is based on the evaluations of more than 4,900 responses from vehicle owners in Italy after an average of two years of ownership. The study was fielded from July to September 2011.
The J.D. Power and Associates/Quattroruote Magazine study provides consumers with reliable and accurate information about many vehicle models, helps manufacturers provide high levels of satisfaction to their customers, and helps consumers make informed purchase decisions. More comprehensive study results are published exclusively in the January 2012 issue of Quattroruote Magazine on sale Friday, December 23, 2011.
About J.D. Power and Associates
The European headquarters of J.D. Power and Associates is located in Munich, Germany. With world headquarters in Westlake Village, California, U.S.A., J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company operating in key business sectors including market research, forecasting, performance improvement, Web intelligence and customer satisfaction. The company?s quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.
About The McGraw-Hill Companies
McGraw-Hill announced on September 12, 2011, its intention to separate into two public companies: McGraw-Hill Financial, a leading provider of content and analytics to global financial markets, and McGraw-Hill Education, a leading education company focused on digital learning and education services worldwide. McGraw-Hill Financial's leading brands include Standard & Poor?s Ratings Services, S&P Capital IQ, S&P Indices, Platts energy information services and J.D. Power and Associates. With sales of $6.2 billion in 2010, the Corporation has approximately 21,000 employees across more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Additional information is available at http://www.mcgraw-hill.com/.
About Quattroruote Magazine
Since 1956, Quattroruote has been the reference car magazine in Italy. It reports on car novelties and test, regulations and car-related economy. Its second-hand quotations are the benchmark for industry and consumers alike. Readership facts: 4,343,000, # 1 men?s periodical title in Italy, # 1 among all periodical magazines.
About Editoriale Domus
Established by Gianni Mazzocchi in Milan in 1929, Editoriale Domus is one of Italy?s leading publishers of special interests magazines, with a large portfolio of titles. Key factors and figures today: over 300 employees, a book and multimedia department, a private test track, a comprehensive automobile data base, over 15 million copies circulates yearly.
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