TOKYO: 17 October 2013 — As vehicle owners often use their own smartphones or tablets in their vehicles, providing a navigation system that is able to interface with external devices is key for automakers to differentiate themselves in a competitive market, according to the J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2013 Japan Navigation Systems Customer Satisfaction Index Study (OEM)SM released today.
Now in its sixth year, the study analyzes overall customer satisfaction with factory- and dealer-installed navigation systems, including standard equipment and optional systems installed by automakers and dealers. The study measures satisfaction with navigation systems as in-vehicle information systems, including music and video player functions and telematics services, in addition to search and guidance functions. Four factors are examined (listed in order of importance): navigation function (39%); infotainment equipment (21%); operation/ user interface (20%); and screen (19%). Overall satisfaction scores are calculated based on customer evaluations of multiple attributes of these factors and are based on a 1,000-point scale.
The 2013 study finds that 51 percent of vehicle owners own smartphones and 13 percent own tablets, with 12 percent of those owners using navigation functions (applications) on these devices to supplement their vehicle navigation systems. Navigation systems in vehicles are generally limited to providing maps and detailed routes to help drivers find their destination.
"Automakers that are able to provide navigation systems that seamlessly link to a smartphone, tablet or laptop computer to better meet the driver's needs are best positioned to differentiate themselves in the market," said Taku Kimoto, executive director of the automotive division at J.D. Power Asia Pacific, Tokyo. "The key to increasing satisfaction is the ability to provide drivers with a smooth, stress-free operation when using their navigation system."
The percentage of customers who use telematics services has increased to 29 percent in 2013, up from 25 percent in 2012. One of the benefits of telematics modules is a safety feature that allows the driver to stay connected through their navigation system when a problem such as an accident occurs, making it possible to gather data about the vehicle condition and the owner's driving behaviors. Through telematics modules, dealers also are better able to track when a vehicle requires maintenance or when there is a pending problem, such as a decrease in battery voltage.
However, 71 percent of customers whose navigation system supports telematics do not currently use telematics services. The primary reasons customers do not use the telematics services are because they are unaware the service exists; they are unfamiliar with the service; or they don't want to pay the charges associated with the service.
"Dealers need to do a better job of introducing the service to customers and explaining the benefits of telematics at the time of purchase," said Kimoto.
Additionally, customers who do not use telematics services indicate a strong preference for telematics features that contribute to security and safety, such as a vehicle theft-prevention monitor; GPS tracking; and weather and road condition alerts.
"In-vehicle systems are likely to evolve from the current systems, which are centered on navigation, to include music, videos and other infotainment features built into sophisticated systems that link to advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS)," said Kimoto. "Navigation systems are expected to become integrated systems that not only provide driver support using current car-mounted cameras and radar, but also detect the driver's condition and provide alerts and warnings to the driver."
In terms of problems, overall satisfaction is 40 points higher among customers who do not experience any problems with their navigation system related to searching for their destination or setting their travel route than among those who experience a single problem. Moreover, satisfaction substantially declines when customers experience problems with their navigation system's control method, such as sensitivity of touch screen/ hard button; difficult to use in operation; and a data entry method that is not user-friendly.
Lexus ranks highest in the luxury brand segment for a second consecutive year, with an overall score of 652, performing particularly well in all four factors. The luxury brand segment average score is 557.
Subaru ranks highest in the mass market brand segment with a score of 537. Subaru performs particularly well in the screen and infotainment equipment factors. Toyota ranks second (529), performing particularly well in the navigation function and operation/user interface factors, and Nissan ranks third (526). The mass market brand segment average score is 522.
The 2013 Japan Navigation Systems Customer Satisfaction Index Study is based on responses from 6,017 vehicle owners who purchased a new vehicle equipped with an OEM navigation system between April 2011 and March 2013. The Internet study was fielded in July 2013.
The Japan Navigation Systems Customer Satisfaction Index Study is one of eight consumer-based benchmark studies conducted by J.D. Power Asia Pacific in Japan. Other 2013 studies conducted by J.D. Power Asia Pacific include:
- The 2013 Japan Winter Tire Customer Satisfaction Index Study, which measures overall customer satisfaction with winter tires, was released in May.
- The 2013 Japan Initial Quality Study (IQS), which measures problems experienced by new-vehicle owners during the first two to nine months of ownership, was released in late August.
- The 2013 Japan Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study, which measures satisfaction with the new-vehicle sales process, was released in late August.
- The 2013 Japan Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) Study, which measures overall customer satisfaction with service performed at automotive dealer facilities, was released in late September.
- The 2013 Japan Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study, which measures what excites and delights owners about their new vehicle's performance and design during the first two to nine months of ownership, was released in late September.
- The 2013 Japan Original Equipment Tire Satisfaction Study, which measures customer satisfaction with original equipment tires, was released in October.
- The 2013 Japan Replacement Tire Satisfaction Study, which measures customer satisfaction with replacement tires, will be released in late October.
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 japan.jdpower.com. Media email contact: email@example.com
About J.D. Power
J.D. Power is a global marketing information services company providing performance improvement, social media and customer satisfaction insights and solutions. The company's quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power has offices in North/South America, Europe and Asia Pacific. For more information on car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit JDPower.com. J.D. Power is a business unit of McGraw Hill Financial.
About McGraw Hill Financial
McGraw Hill Financial (NYSE: MHFI) is a leading financial intelligence company providing the global capital and commodity markets with independent benchmarks, credit ratings, portfolio and enterprise risk solutions, and analytics. The Company's iconic brands include: Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, S&P Capital IQ, S&P Dow Jones Indices, Platts, CRISIL, J.D. Power, and McGraw Hill Construction. The Company has approximately 17,000 employees in 27 countries. Additional information is available at www.mhfi.com.
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. www.jdpower.com
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 Optional systems installed by dealers: systems that do not display the names or logos of aftermarket navigation system makers
 Navigation function includes evaluations of destination search, route setting, route/ road guidance and map data