TOKYO: 17 Jan. 2018 — In the heavy-duty segment, overall truck owner satisfaction with automatic transmission(AMT) is higher than those who own trucks with manual transmission despite increased instants of problems, according to the J.D. Power 2018 Japan Heavy-Duty Truck Ownership Satisfaction StudySM and the J.D. Power 2018 Japan Light-Duty Truck Ownership Satisfaction Study.SM
The annual studies measure overall satisfaction with heavy- and light-duty truck manufacturers and their respective authorized truck dealers among commercial fleet owners, including managers of truck freight companies. Satisfaction is determined by examining owners’ evaluations of 10 attributes grouped into four factors (listed in order of importance): vehicle (44%); service (23%); sales (21%); and cost (12%). Satisfaction is calculated on a 1,000-point scale.
Nowadays, more heavy-duty trucks come equipped with AMT. This study finds that 26% of trucks registered during or before 2014 are equipped with AMT, while this percentage rises to 40% for trucks registered between January and October in 2017. Owners are more satisfied with their trucks with AMT, averaging 597 points, compared with 575 points for trucks with manual transmissions.
However, heavy-duty trucks with an AMT are more likely to have transmission problems than trucks with a manual transmission (30% vs. 24%, respectively). For trucks with an AMT, satisfaction averages 637 points among owners who did not experience transmission problems, while the score drops to 515 points among owners who did experience problems—a 100-point gap.
“It has been made clear that despite the increase in problems associated with owning a truck with an AMT, the value of the feature outweighs the need for repairs for owners,” said Yuji Sasaki, Director of Automotive Division at J.D. Power. “As this feature becomes more standard in trucks, it will become increasingly important for dealers to account for the increase in servicing needs to ensure satisfaction remains high among these customers.”
Following are some of the key findings of the study:
- Satisfaction by the numbers: Of the owners with AMT, customer satisfaction averages 597 points vs. 575 points among owners of trucks with manual transmissions.
- An increase in trucks with AMT on the horizon: A shortage of truck drivers is becoming an issue in the industry, and this will likely lead to an increase in trucks with AMTs, which make it easier for drivers to operate the vehicle. Quality improvement in trucks with an AMT is one of the critical points for truck manufacturers in gaining an advantage over competitors.
- OEM telematics preventive maintenance will be key: Trucks with OEM telematics systems have fewer quality problems than trucks without such systems (54% vs. 60%, respectively). This suggests that vehicle quality management or preventive maintenance could be an effective way of providing stable vehicle quality and increasing owner satisfaction.
Hino ranks highest in truck ownership satisfaction for the ninth consecutive year for heavy-duty trucks (583) and for the fourth consecutive year for light-duty trucks (571). Isuzu ranks second (575 for heavy-duty trucks and 560 for light-duty trucks).
The 2018 Japan Heavy-Duty Truck Ownership Satisfaction Study is based on 3,336 responses from 2,184 truck owners, and the 2018 Japan Light-Duty Truck Ownership Satisfaction Study is based on 2,709 responses from 1,888 truck owners. Fleet owners in each segment evaluated up to two manufacturers. The mail survey was conducted from September through October 2017.
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 in the Asia Pacific region. Together, the six offices bring the language of customer satisfaction to consumers and businesses in Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. J.D. Power is a portfolio company of XIO Group, a global alternative investments and private equity firm headquartered in London, and is led by its four founders: Athene Li, Joseph Pacini, Murphy Qiao and Carsten Geyer. Information regarding J.D. Power and its products can be accessed through the internet at japan.jdpower.com.
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