Overall New-Vehicle Appeal Improves Considerably in Thailand from 2011

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Honda Receives Two Segment-Level Awards; Chevrolet, Ford, Isuzu, Mitsubishi and Toyota Each Receive One



BANGKOK: 21 December 2012 — As many new models have been launched this year in Thailand, overall new-vehicle appeal has improved considerably from 2011, according to the J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2012 Thailand Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) StudySM released today.

Now in its 10th year, the APEAL Study is an owner-reported measure of what gratifies owners in Thailand about their new vehicle's performance and design during the first two to six months of ownership. The study examines nearly 100 attributes in 10 vehicle categories: exterior; interior; storage and space; audio/ entertainment/ navigation; seats; HVAC; driving dynamics; engine/ transmission; visibility and driving safety; and fuel economy. APEAL Study performance is reported as an index score based on a 1,000-point scale, with a higher score indicating higher satisfaction.

In 2012, the overall average APEAL Study index score is 916, a 32-point increase from 2011. Satisfaction has improved across all 10 vehicle categories, most particularly in audio/ entertainment/ navigation (+40 points). The vehicle exterior has the highest overall satisfaction score (929) and also is the factor most critical to satisfaction across all vehicle segments.

"One-third of the vehicles included in the study are new-model launches, and Thai customers are excited with the wide range of new model options offered to them," said Loic Pean, senior manager at J.D. Power Asia Pacific, Thailand. "The exterior design and appearance of vehicles is increasingly important and consumers--especially passenger-car owners--are particularly sensitive to the front-end styling, as well as details such as the sound of doors when closing."

The study also finds that 80 percent of new-vehicle owners who say they are "delighted" with the overall attractiveness of their vehicle (providing a rating of 10 on a 10-point scale) would definitely recommend their model to family and friends. However, only 53 percent of owners who are "indifferent" or "disappointed" with the overall attractiveness of their vehicle (ratings of 5 points or lower) say the same.

"Owners of models performing well in APEAL also include higher advocacy intentions than do owners of competitor models that do not perform as well," said Pean.  "Therefore, it is important for manufacturers to pursue their efforts in offering innovations that stimulate vehicle attractiveness."

Model Results by Segment

Honda receives two segment awards. The Honda Jazz ranks highest in the entry midsize car segment with a score of 926. The Mazda2 Elegance (919) ranks second, followed closely by the Ford Fiesta (917).

The Honda Civic (941) ranks highest in the midsize car segment. The Toyota Prius ranks second with 937, followed by the Mazda3 (931).

In the compact car segment, the Mitsubishi Mirage ranks highest with a score of 922, followed by the Suzuki Swift Eco (909) and the Nissan March (900).

The Toyota Fortuner (931) ranks highest among sport utility vehicles. The Chevrolet Captiva closely follows with a score of 929, and the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport (923) ranks third.

In the pickup single cab segment, the Isuzu D-Max Spark ranks highest with a score of 905. The Mitsubishi Triton S-Cab ranks second with a score of 898, followed closely by the Toyota Hilux Vigo Champ S-Cab (896).

In the pickup extended cab segment, the Chevrolet Colorado Z71 (937) ranks highest, followed by the Isuzu D-Max Hi-Lander (933) and the Toyota Hilux Vigo Champ Prerunner (929).

In the pickup double cab segment, the Ford Ranger Hi-Rider (921) ranks highest, followed by the Isuzu D-Max Cab-4/ V-Cross 4-door and Isuzu D-Max Hi-Lander in a tie (915 each).

The 2012 Thailand APEAL Study is based on evaluations from 4,622 owners who purchased a new vehicle between October 2011 and July 2012. The study includes 77 passenger car, pickup truck and utility vehicle models from 13 makes. The study was fielded between April and September 2012.

About J.D. Power Asia Pacific

J.D. Power Asia Pacific has offices in Tokyo, Singapore, Beijing, Shanghai and Bangkok that conduct customer satisfaction research and provide consulting services in the automotive, information technology and finance industries. Together, the five offices bring the language of customer satisfaction to consumers and businesses in China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan and Thailand. Information regarding J.D. Power Asia Pacific and its products can be accessed through the Internet at www.jdpower.com. Media e-mail contact: xingti_liu@jdpower.com.sg

About J.D. Power and Associates

Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., 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.  For more information on car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit JDPower.com. 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 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 Dow Jones Indices, J.D. Power and Associates and Platts, a leader in commodities information. With sales of $6.2 billion in 2011, the Corporation has approximately 23,000 employees across more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Additional information is available at http://www.mcgraw-hill.com/.

Media Relations Contacts:

XingTi Liu; J.D. Power Asia Pacific; 08-Shenton Way, #44-02/03/04; Singapore, 068811; Phone +65-67338980; xingti_liu@jdpower.com.sg

John Tews; J.D. Power and Associates; Troy, Mich.; (248) 680-6218; media.relations@jdpa.com

Follow us on Twitter: @JDPower

No advertising or other promotional use can be made of the information in this release without the express prior written consent of J.D. Power and Associates. www.jdpower.com/corporate

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Media Contacts

Troy, Michigan
(248) 680-6218