MUNICH: 29 May 2014 — New-vehicle owners in Germany most frequently cite reliability/durability (56%), “the deal” (48%) and safety (46%) as having the most influence on their purchase decision, according to the J.D. Power 2014 Germany Vehicle Ownership Satisfaction StudySM (VOSS) released today in association with AUTO TEST.
The 2014 Germany VOSS examines owner satisfaction with 1- to 3-year-old vehicles based on evaluations of four key measures that comprise the overall ownership experience (in order of importance): vehicle appeal (27%), which includes performance, design, comfort and features; ownership costs (25%), which includes fuel consumption, insurance and cost of service/repairs; vehicle quality and reliability (24%); and service satisfaction (23%).
“With nearly 10 million light vehicles sold in Germany during the past three years, the German market remains among the top 10 largest vehicle markets in the world. As a result, it’s vital for automakers to understand the most important factors that are driving vehicle owners’ choice of vehicle,” said Dr. Axel Sprenger, head of European operations for J.D. Power. “Both manufacturers’ engineering and marketing departments and dealers may want to pay special attention to these Voice of the Customer insights to help shape their vehicle development and promotion messages as well as to improve customer loyalty.”
Porsche ranks highest in 2014 with a score of 835 on a 1,000-point scale, performing particularly well in quality and reliability and vehicle appeal. Toyota and Volvo rank second in a tie (818 each), followed by Mercedes-Benz (811).
Among the nine model-level segment awards, Toyota and Volkswagen both receive two awards, while Kia, Mercedes-Benz, Opel, Seat and Volvo each receive one award.
The Toyota Avensis, which ranks highest in the mid-size segment, achieves the highest score among all models in the study, with a score of 848.
- The most common reason cited by vehicle owners in Germany for not returning to their selling dealer is that the dealer is not conveniently located—owners purchase their vehicles where they can get the best deal, which is not necessarily the dealership closest to their home.
- The average number of dealership service visits made by vehicle owners decreases slightly to 1.7 per year, while visits to other service facilities increase to .9 per year. Thus, dealers are capturing only 65% of the service visits from these vehicle owners.
- Service satisfaction is below 600 points among vehicle owners who spend an average of 390 euros on dealer service and an additional 202 euros on service at other facilities. Consequently, only 8 percent of these owners say they “definitely will” return for paid service.
- The overall percentage of vehicle owners in Germany who use the Internet to shop for their vehicle has increased to 72 percent in 2014, up from 70 percent in 2013, with the largest year-over-year increase among owners who are 65 years and older (62% vs. 56%, respectively).
- Although the majority (94%) of Internet shoppers in Germany continue to use traditional desktop and laptop computers, the percentage has declined slightly from 2013 (96%), while the percentages of shoppers who use smartphones (25% in 2014 vs. 22% in 2013) and tablet devices (21% in 2014 vs. 14% in 2013) have increased year over year.
- Nearly half (41%) of 18- to 24-year-old new-vehicle shoppers use their smartphone when shopping for a vehicle via the Internet, compared with only 8 percent of those who are 65 years and older.
The 2014 Germany Vehicle Ownership Satisfaction Study is based on 18,288 online evaluations by vehicle owners in Germany whose vehicles were originally registered new between January 2011 and December 2012. The survey was fielded in Germany from December 2013 through February 2014.
This annual J.D. Power study provides consumers with information to help them make purchase decisions about vehicle models sold in Germany, and helps manufacturers understand the factors that drive high levels of satisfaction among their customers. Additional study results are published exclusively in the June issue of AUTO TEST, which will be on sale beginning on May 30, 2014.
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AUTO TEST is a member of the international AUTO BILD group published by Axel Springer. Since 2003, AUTO TEST has been the leading special interest magazine for readers who are planning to buy a new car. More than 500 cars are tested each year, with more than 1.8 million kilometers driven to provide readers with detailed and objective model reviews to help them choose the best car for their money. Readers can also find tips on cutting running costs, used cars, service, finance and accessories.