TOKYO: 18 February 2015 — The gap in satisfaction scores between the highest- and lowest-ranked brands in both the mid-size and small heavy-duty truck fleet segments has expanded significantly from 2013 due primarily to the quality of sales activities, according to the J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2014 Japan Heavy-Duty Truck Ownership Satisfaction StudySM released today.
The study, now in its 10th year, measures overall satisfaction with heavy-duty truck manufacturers and their respective authorized truck dealers among commercial fleet owners, including managers of truck freight companies. The study includes three fleet segments: large (31 or more vehicles); mid-size (11 to 30 vehicles); and small (10 or fewer vehicles). Satisfaction is determined by examining 62 attributes across four performance factors (in order of importance): service (47%), sales (24%), vehicle (16%) and cost (13%). Satisfaction is calculated on a 1,000-point scale.
Overall heavy-duty truck satisfaction averages 618, the same as in 2013. By segment, satisfaction in the large fleet is 632, which is the only segment score above industry average. Satisfaction in the mid-size (612) and small (616) fleet segments falls below industry average. In 2014, the satisfaction gap between the highest- and lowest-ranked brands in both the mid-size and small fleet segments has widened significantly to 30 points in each segment from 17 and 12 points, respectively, in 2013.
“One of the main reasons for the expanding gaps in performance is the quality of sales activities being provided,” said Taku Kimoto, executive director of the automotive division at J.D. Power Asia Pacific, Tokyo. “In 2014, key sales activities—such as sales visits that include a bona fide proposal covering operational improvements, after-sales follow-up, and a provision of information on industry trends—have a greater impact on satisfaction, compared with 2013.”
- Overall satisfaction has improved year over year among heavy-duty truck owners who receive a proposal for operational improvements during a sales visit than among those who don’t receive such a proposal (710 vs. 686, respectively).
- By fleet size, the greatest increase in cost satisfaction is in the small segment, up 21 points from 2013 to 543. By type of cost, maintenance cost—including repair (+5 points), parts cost (+5) and inspection (+4)—has a greater impact on overall satisfaction in the cost factor than does the initial vehicle purchase cost.
- While satisfaction in the cost factor (544) is below industry average, it is the only factor to have improved from 2013 (+8 points). Satisfaction in the remaining factors has decreased year over year: sales (-3 points); service (-3); and vehicle (-3).
- With respect to loyalty measures, overall satisfaction is 119 points higher among owners who intend to purchase their next truck from the same manufacturer as their current make than among those who intend to purchase their next truck from a different manufacturer (640 vs. 521, respectively).
- Sales satisfaction is a substantial 144 points higher among customers who intend to repurchase from the same manufacturer than among those who do not intend to use the same manufacturer, illustrating the impact of a positive sales experience on customer retention.
Overall Satisfaction Rankings
Among the four brands included in the study, Hino ranks highest for a sixth consecutive year, with an overall satisfaction score of 631, and performs particularly well in the service, sales and vehicle factors. Following Hino in the rankings is Mitsubishi Fuso with a score of 627.
The Japan Heavy-Duty Truck Ownership Satisfaction Study is based on 3,437 responses from 2,267 truck owners. Each fleet owner evaluated up to two manufacturers. The study was fielded between October and November 2014.
The 2014 Japan Heavy-Duty Truck Ownership Satisfaction Study is one of the benchmark studies conducted by J.D. Power Asia Pacific in Japan. Other studies conducted by J.D. Power Asia Pacific include:
- The 2014 Japan Light-Duty Truck Ownership Satisfaction Study, which measures customer satisfaction with light-duty truck manufacturers and their respective local authorized truck dealers, will be released in March.
- The 2015 Japan Winter Tire Customer Satisfaction Index Study, which measures overall customer satisfaction with winter tires, will be released in May.
- The 2015 Japan Initial Quality Study (IQS), which measures problems experienced by new-vehicle owners during the first two to nine months of ownership, will be released in August.
- The 2015 Japan Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study, which measures satisfaction with the new-vehicle sales process, will be released in August.
- The 2015 Japan Customer Service Index (CSI) Study, which measures overall customer satisfaction with service performed at automotive dealer facilities, will be released in September.
- The 2015 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, will be released in September.
- The 2015 Japan Navigation Systems Customer Satisfaction Index Study, which measures customer satisfaction with original equipment and aftermarket navigation systems, will be released in October.
- The 2015 Japan Replacement Tire Customer Satisfaction Index Study, which measures customer satisfaction with replacement tires (excluding winter tires), will be released in October.
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