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Hero, Honda and Suzuki Each Receive Model-Level Awards; TVS Receives Two Awards for Two-Wheeler Initial Quality

NEW DELHI: 8 Mar. 2017 — The number of initial quality problems reported by two-wheeler owners rapidly increases with kilometres driven, according to the J.D. Power 2017 India Two-Wheeler Initial Quality (2WIQS) Study,SM released today.

The study measures problems owners experience with their new two-wheeler during the first two to six months of ownership. It examines 138 problem symptoms covering seven categories (listed in order of frequency of reported problems): engine; brakes; gauges and controls; fit and finish; lights/ electricals; ride and handling; and transmission. All problems are summarized as the number of problems per 100 vehicles (PP100). Lower PP100 scores indicate a lower rate of problem incidence and therefore higher initial quality.

The study finds that among two-wheeler owners in the six-month ownership period, those who accumulated mileage of more than 3,000 kilometres (50%) reported significantly more initial quality problems than buyers who accumulated 3,000 kilometres or fewer (159 PP100 vs. 126 PP100, respectively).

“Quality deterioration and rapid increase in initial quality problems during the first six months of ownership can impact the customer’s perception of the product and the OEM for the entire ownership period,” said Kaustav Roy, director at J.D. Power, Singapore. “Facing deteriorating quality early on in the ownership period not only detracts from good word-of-mouth recommendations, but can also influence a customer’s repurchase decision at the end of the ownership period. OEMs can thus gain a competitive advantage by establishing a consistent and sustained performance as a brand differentiator.”

The study finds that both components of quality—design quality and manufacturing quality—deteriorate with increasing mileage accumulation. Owners having driven more than 3,000 kilometers report 62 PP100 instances of problems with design quality, compared with 50 PP100 among those who have covered less than 3,000 kilometers. With respect to manufacturing quality, the owner group with higher mileage reported 96 PP100 problems, compared with 75 PP100 reported by owners having covered 3,000 kilometers or less.

“The harsh weather and road conditions, coupled with the fact that nearly two-thirds of owners in India generally ride with a pillion onboard, does put a lot of stress on vehicle systems and can lead to premature wear and tear of parts,” said Rajat Agarwal, two-wheeler industry expert at J.D. Power, Singapore. “Given that two in three owners of a two-wheeler intend to keep their current vehicle for five years or more, it would be prudent for automakers to focus on initial quality and ensure that quality is sustained over the product lifecycle.”

Following are some of the key findings of this year’s study:

  • Overall two-wheeler quality influences loyalty. Owners who experience fewer problems than expected (52%) are more than two times as likely to recommend their two-wheeler model to family and friends as those who experience more problems than expected (8%).
  • Initial Quality improves in both scooter and motorcycle segments. Overall initial quality averages 129 PP100 for scooters and 150 PP100 for motorcycles, an improvement of 8 PP100 and 9 PP100, respectively, from 2016. Among vehicle systems, the greatest year-over-year improvement is in the brake category.
  • Explanations by the salesperson during vehicle delivery influences problem instances. Nearly three-fourths (72%) of buyers were advised by the salesperson about the vehicle dos and don’ts during vehicle delivery. These owners report significantly fewer instances of initial quality problems than those who were not advised of the same (119 PP100 vs. 205 PP100, respectively).
  • First-time buyers report fewer initial quality problems. More than three-fourths (77%) of two-wheeler owners are first-time buyers, and they report fewer problems than those with previous ownership experience (123 PP100 vs. 212 PP100, respectively). The difference is largely influenced by problems in the engine and ride and handling categories. Younger buyers report facing higher initial quality problems. Young buyers—those who are 30 years old or younger (57%)—report facing higher initial quality than mature buyers who are 31 years old or older (150 PP100 vs. 135PP100, respectively). The difference is largely influenced by problems in the ride and handling and brake categories.

Model Results by Segment

Award recipient segments include scooters (executive) and motorcycles (economy, executive, upper executive and premium).

For scooters, Honda Activa I (70 PP100) ranks highest among executive models.

For motorcycles, TVS Star City Plus (110 PP100) ranks highest among economy models, and Hero Super Splendor (115 PP100) ranks highest among executive models. Suzuki Gixxer/ Gixxer SF (99 PP100) ranks highest among upper executive models, and TVS Apache RTR 160 (108 PP100) ranks highest among premium models.

The 2017 India Two-Wheeler Initial Quality Study (2WIQS) is based on evaluations from 9,570 vehicle owners who purchased a new vehicle between March 2016 and October 2016. The study includes 87 two-wheeler models from 10 makes. The study was fielded from September 2016 to December 2016 in 45 cities across India.

Media Relations Contacts

Geno Effler; J.D. Power; Costa Mesa, California, USA; 001‐714-621-6224; media.relations@jdpa.com

About J.D. Power in the Asia Pacific Region

J.D. Power has offices in Tokyo, Singapore, Beijing, Shanghai, Malaysia 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 Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. Information regarding J.D. Power and its products can be accessed through the internet at asean‐oceania.jdpower.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

Media Contacts:

Geno Effler

Costa Mesa, California

(714) 621-6224

media.relations@jdpa.com