BANGKOK: 19 December 2014 — Sport utility vehicles are more appealing to new-vehicle owners in Thailand than pickup trucks, passenger cars or multi-purpose vehicles (MPV) in 2014, according to the J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2014 Thailand Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) StudySM released today.
Now in its 12th year, the APEAL Study is an owner-reported measure of what satisfies 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.
“The utility vehicle segment is gaining momentum in Thailand, driven by strong appeal of both new full-size and, more recently, compact SUV models,” said Loic Pean, senior manager at J.D. Power Asia Pacific. “While luxury and premium midsize sedan cars remain the most desired at the segment level, new-vehicle buyers enjoy the look and feel of these new sport utility vehicles, particularly their driving dynamics, visibility and driving safety features under various driving conditions. They are also attracted to the interior design and affordable pricing.”
- Overall APEAL averages 905 in 2014, up from 903 in 2013.
- Sport utility vehicles (SUVs) achieve the highest APEAL score among the body styles (914). At the segment level, premium midsize cars and full-size SUVs earn the highest scores (931 and 917, respectively).
- Among passenger car owners, the importance of seats in 2014 (13%) has increased from 2013 (11%). In the pickup segments, new-vehicle owners are most concerned with visibility and driving safety (16%), which is the most improved vehicle category (+4 percentage points) from 2013. Among utility vehicle owners, the importance of visibility and driving safety increases notably to 12 percent in 2014 from 8 percent in 2013, and driving dynamics increases to 14 percent from 10 percent year over year.
- Satisfaction in most vehicle categories remains on par or improves, except in seats
(-1 point) and fuel economy (-5 points).
- Satisfaction is higher among new-vehicle owners who were informed about the fuel efficiency of their vehicle by the dealer prior to purchase (909) than among those who were not informed (904).
- The study finds a close relationship with customer satisfaction and brand repurchase intention. Among customers who are highly satisfied (providing a satisfaction rating of 10 on a 10-point scale) with overall vehicle attractiveness 60 percent say they “definitely would” repurchase the same brand. When customers are less satisfied with vehicle attractiveness (ratings of 8 or 9 points) repurchase intention drops to 42 percent. Among disappointed or indifferent customers (ratings of 1 to 7 points), repurchase intention drops significantly to six percent.
2014 Thailand APEAL Study Rankings
Among the 83 models included in the study, the following rank highest in their respective segments:
- Four models from Mazda—Mazda2 Elegance (tie); Mazda3; CX-5 (tie); and BT-50 PRO Hi-Racer D-Cab
- Four models from Toyota—Yaris; Fortuner (tie); Hilux Vigo Champ S-Cab; and Hilux Vigo Champ Prerunner Smart Cab
- Two models from Honda—City (tie) and Accord
The 2014 Thailand APEAL Study is based on evaluations from 4,877 owners who purchased their new vehicle between October 2013 and June 2014. The study covers 12 different brands that include 83 different passenger car, pickup truck and utility vehicle models. The study was fielded between April and August 2014.
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