Satisfaction Gap between New Mass Market and Premium Vehicles Continues to Grow, J.D. Power Finds
Porsche, Buick and Geely Rank Highest in Respective Segments
SHANGHAI: 17 Aug. 2023 – Overall satisfaction with new mass market vehicles has improved, but the gap between mass market and premium brands continues to widen, according to the J.D. Power 2023 China Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study,SM released today. The overall APEAL satisfaction score is 738 (on a 1,000-point scale), up 8 points from 2022, the highest score in the past four years. The score among premium brands has increased to 757 points this year from 744 points in 2022. The gap between premium brands and mass-market international brands (738 points) has widened to 19 points from 12 points last year and the gap with domestic brands (722) is 35 points, up from 715 points year over year.
The study, now in its 21st year, examines owners’ assessments of their new-vehicle experience within the first two to six months of ownership, specifically their emotional attachment to and level of excitement with their new vehicle. The resulting data is used extensively by manufacturers to help them design and develop more appealing models.
“With the growth of new energy vehicle (NEV) sales, the competition between internal combustion engine vehicles (ICE) and NEVs is becoming fiercer,” said Elvis Yang, general manager of auto product practice at J.D. Power China. “Makers of ICE vehicles need to pay more attention to vehicle design and experience to maintain their position. Meanwhile, second- and third-tier cities are the main areas to purchase ICE vehicles. Automakers need to accurately grasp the preferences of this consumer group, optimize configuration experience to increase product appeal.”
Following are key findings of the 2023 study:
- ICE and NEV each have their own strengths: Although the APEAL score for ICE vehicles has improved this year—738 vs. 730 a year ago—the gap with NEVs (776) has expanded to 38 points. The breakthrough directions of the two types of vehicles are different. NEVs score higher in design; setting up and starting; and driving experience, while traditional ICE vehicles score higher in fuel economy and driving range; security; in-vehicle infotainment system; and driving comfort.
- New energy SUVs are significantly ahead of gas-powered SUVs in design: Year over year, the APEAL score for gas-powered SUVs (736) has increased 6 points, while the score for new energy SUVs (783) has significantly improved 38 points. Design is the main reason for the gap between the two types of SUVs. Design is also the main reason for buyers to reject gas-powered SUVs. Buyers prefer several design aspects for new energy SUVs rather than those available on gas-powered SUVs, such as the color, and the size and shape of the side windows.
- First-time buyers in second-tier cities pay more attention to the practicality of functions: As the main market for ICE vehicles, first-time purchasers in second-tier cities are mostly young people with rigid demands. Daily commuting is their main vehicle use. Among these buyers, APEAL attributes scoring higher this year are infotainment systems, up 14 points from 2022, and keeping you safe, up 13 points. More practical functions such as safety configuration; controlling the vehicle in and out of tight spaces; assisted driving functions; and infotainment systems are the most frequently cited features used by these buyers.
Porsche ranks highest in APEAL among premium brands with a score of 763. Audi (760) ranks second and BMW (758) ranks third.
Buick is the highest-ranking mass market brand with a score of 755. Dongfeng Nissan (747) and GAC Honda (747) each rank second in a tie.
Geely ranks highest among Chinese domestic brand with a score of 744. Chery (741) ranks second and Roewe (740) ranks third.
The segment-level APEAL awards by brand are for Audi A6L, Audi Q3, Buick All New GL8, Buick Envision Plus, Buick Excelle GT, Changan CS35 Plus, Changan CS75, Chery Tiggo 7 Plus, Chery Tiggo 8, Geely Emgrand and Geely Preface.
Other models that rank highest in their respective segments are BMW 3 Series, Dongfeng Forthing Lingzhi, Honda Crider, Honda Inspire, Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class, Porsche Cayenne, and Toyota Wildlander.
The 2023 China Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study measures owners’ emotional attachment to and level of excitement with their new vehicle across 37 attributes in 10 vehicle experience groups: exterior; setting up and starting; getting in and out; interior; performance; driving feel; keeping your safe; infotainment; driving comfort; and fuel economy.
The study is based on responses from 35,155 owners of gas-powered vehicles who purchased their new vehicle between June 2022 and March 2023. The study includes 230 models from 48 different brands and was fielded from December 2022 through May 2023 in 81 major cities across China. Additionally, data from the J.D. Power China New Energy Vehicle—Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (NEV-APEAL) Study,SM which measures the APEAL satisfaction of NEV owners, is included for comparison in this study.
To learn more about the China Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study, please contact: email@example.com
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