Vehicle Dependability Improvement in China Slows after Years of Significant Progress, J.D. Power Finds

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21 Models from 18 Brands Rank Highest in Their Respective Segments

SHAHGHAI: 20 Sept. 2018 – After years of significant progress, the momentum of vehicle dependability improvement in China is slowing down. The resolution of recurring quality problems is essential for the industry to gain back the previous levels of progress, according to J.D. Power 2018 China Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS), released today.

The study, now in its ninth year, measures the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100) during the past 12 months by original owners of 30- to 48-month-old vehicles. A lower score reflects higher quality. The study covers 177 specific problems grouped into eight major vehicle categories: vehicle exterior; driving experience; features/ controls/ displays; audio/ entertainment/ navigation; seats; heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC); vehicle interior; and engine/ transmission.

The industry-level vehicle dependability score has dramatically dropped to 156 PP100 in 2015 from 298 PP100 in 2010, when J.D. Power first released the study in China. During the past three years, however, the average industry score has shown a minor regression, increasing by 4 PP100 from 141 PP100 in 2016 to 145 PP100 in 2018. 

“The deceleration of improvement indicates that the automotive industry has been entering into a critical time frame, when even tiny progress requires great effort,” said Jeff Cai, General Manager, Auto Product, J.D. Power China. “Frequently reported problems are the hardest to resolve for multiple reasons; however, given that what each customer experiences with vehicle dependability will very likely affect future repurchase intentions, automakers and dealers have to work together to figure out these recurring problems as soon as possible.”

Among the top 10 problems most often reported by mass market vehicle owners in the past three years, five are common problems, including front windshield wipers/ washers–broken/ not working; excessive wind noise; brakes are noisy; exterior light bulb failed; and air from vents smells unpleasant.

Following are additional findings from the 2018 study:

  • Gap remains between domestic and international brands: The gap between the two segments is 30 PP100 this year (167 PP100 domestic and 137 PP100 international), which remains the same as in the 2017 study.
  • Domestic brands lag behind other countries in almost all problem categories: The performance of domestic brands is worse than other brands in seven of eight problem categories, and perform only slightly better than Korean and Japanese brands in one category: audio/ communication/ entertainment/ navigation (ACEN).

Highest-Ranked Models

A total of 20 vehicle segments are eligible for awards in the 2018 China Vehicle Dependability Study. Porsche (Macan, Cayenne), BMW (5 Series, 7 Series) and Beijing Hyundai (Mistra, Tucson) each have two models that receive segment awards, respectively.

Other models that rank highest in their respective segments are the smart fortwo; Chevrolet Sail; Toyota Yaris L; Volkswagen Santana; Ford Focus Classic; Kia K5; Audi A4L; Volvo S60L; Haval H2; Honda Vezel; Toyota Land Cruiser Prado; Land Rover Range Rover Evoque (Import); Baojun 730; Buick New GL8; and Changan Star.

The 2018 study is based on the evaluations of 28,868 owners of vehicles purchased between November 2013 and November 2015. The fieldwork was conducted from November 2017 through May 2018 in 67 cities across China. For this year’s study, 210 models of 61 makes across 21 vehicle segments were analyzed.

J.D. Power is a global leader in consumer insights, advisory services and data and analytics. Those capabilities enable J.D. Power to help its clients drive customer satisfaction, growth and profitability. Established in 1968, J.D. Power is headquartered in Costa Mesa, California, and has offices in Shanghai, Beijing, Tokyo, Singapore, and Bangkok serving the Asia Pacific region. J.D. Power is a portfolio company of XIO Group, a global alternative investments firm headquartered in London, and is led by its four founders: Athene Li, Joseph Pacini, Murphy Qiao and Carsten Geyer. For more information, please visit china.jdpower.com or stay connected with us on J.D. Power WeChat and  Weibo.

Media Relations Contacts
Geno Effler; J.D. Power; Costa Mesa, California, USA; 001-714-621-6224; media.relations@jdpa.com
Shana Zhuang; J.D. Power; China; +86 21 8026 5719; shana.zhuang@jdpa.com

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