Owners Increasingly Have Tires Serviced at Authorized Retail Outlets Rather than Local Garages

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MRF Ranks Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Original Equipment Tires in India for Third Consecutive Year

SINGAPORE: 9 April 2012 — While roadside mechanics remain the most frequently visited location for servicing tires in India, original equipment tire owners are increasingly having their tires serviced at authorized retail outlets, such as independent tire dealers or purchase dealers, according to the J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2012 India Original Equipment Tire Customer Satisfaction Index (TCSI) StudySM released today.

More than one-half (53%) of original equipment tire owners in India who experience a tire-related problem have the repair made by a roadside mechanic. However, 38 percent of owners take their vehicle to a retail outlet for tire repairs, compared with 7 percent in 2011.

"The shift in preference for organized retail outlets reflects customer demands for better service, facilities and processes," said Mohit Arora, executive director, J.D. Power Asia Pacific, Singapore. "Therefore, it might be prudent on the part of tire manufacturers to fine-tune their retail strategy to ensure a superior customer experience at these outlets."

The study, now in its 12th year, measures satisfaction among original equipment tire owners during the first 12 to 24 months of ownership. The study measures overall satisfaction across four factors (listed in order of importance): appearance, durability, traction/handling and ride.

Satisfaction with original equipment tires averages 827 points (on a 1,000-point scale), a five-point improvement from 2011. At the factor level, appearance satisfaction is highest (829), while durability satisfaction (825) improves 9 points year over year.  

MRF ranks highest in satisfaction with original equipment tires for a third consecutive year, achieving a score of 841. MRF improves eight points from 2011 and performs well across all factors. JK Tyre ranks second with a score of 831, while Apollo ranks third at 827.

The study also finds that the occurrence of problems with original tires negatively impacts overall satisfaction.

"One of the key drivers of satisfaction with MRF tires is that owners report fewer problems, compared with the industry average," said Arora.  "This has been one of the cornerstones of MRF's successful performance during the past three years."  

Further, the 2012 study finds an increase in the importance of such features as run-flat tires and self-sealing tires, compared with the 2011 study. Innovative technological advancements in tires may help mitigate dissatisfaction due to commonly cited problems, such as damage due to punctures.

The 2012 India Original Equipment Tire Customer Satisfaction Index Study is based on responses from new-vehicle owners who purchased their vehicle between May 2009 and August 2010. The study was fielded between May and August 2011.

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 performance analytics services in the automotive, information technology and finance industries. Together, the five offices bring the language of customer satisfaction to consumers and businesses in Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. 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 public 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 Indices, Platts energy information services and J.D. Power and Associates. 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; +65-67338980; xingti_liu@jdpower.com.sg
John Tews; J.D. Power and Associates; Troy, Mich.; (248) 680-6218; media.relations@jdpa.com

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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