Vehicle Dependability in China Improves Significantly but Complaints About Noise Increase, J.D. Power Finds
Porsche and Beijing Hyundai Rank Highest Among Luxury and Mass Market Brands, Respectively
SHANGHAI: 28 Nov. 2019 — Overall vehicle dependability in 2019 has improved significantly among owners in China, with most quality problems improving, but with an increase in noise-related complaints, according to the J.D. Power 2019 China Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS), SM released today.
The study, now in its 10th year, measures the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100) during the past six months by original owners of 13- 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; vehicle interior; driving experience; features/controls/displays; audio/entertainment/navigation; heating/ventilation/air conditioning; seats; and engine/transmission.
According to the study, the overall vehicle dependability score this year is 114 PP100 (down 31PP100 from 2018), and the number of problems reported by owners of 30- to 48-month-old vehicles, the same length of ownership as the 2018 study, is 126 PP100, which is 19 PP100 less than last year. Improvement occurs in all eight categories, with features/controls/displays improving the most (down 7.1 PP100 from 2018), followed by engine/transmission and vehicle interior, with scores down 5.5 PP100 and 5.2 PP100 respectively.
“The automotive industry in China has made exciting progress on vehicle dependability in 2019,” said Jeff Cai, General Manager of Auto Product, J.D. Power China. “Improvements in both new vehicle quality and vehicle dependability demonstrate that automakers are paying more attention to performance issues as a way to navigate the market downturn and spark a turnaround.”
The study also shows that owners complained more about noise problems this year. Excessive wind noise (5.0 PP100) and excessive road noise (4.6 PP100) are among the most commonly cited problems, increasing by 1.7 PP100 and 1.4 PP100, respectively, from 2018.
“Problems related to noise rank high in both the J.D. Power Initial Quality Study and Vehicle Dependability Study,” Cai said. “It’s crucial for manufacturers to make targeted adjustments to meet the preferences of vehicle owners in China and adopt necessary measures to reduce noise inside and around the car, such as controlling the noise level of the noise source and improving vehicle soundproofing.”
Following are additional findings from the 2019 study:
- Domestic brands improve dramatically as gap with international brands narrows: Chinese domestic brands make greater progress in vehicle dependability than international brands (43 PP100 vs. 28 PP100, respectively). The gap between Chinese domestic brands and international brands has narrowed to 15 PP100, the smallest since 2015.
- Problems increase on broken/not working, noise/squeak and worn/faded as length of ownership grows: Compared with car owners with one to two years of ownership, those with three to four years of ownership indicated 9.2 PP100 problems on broken/not working and 6.5 PP100 higher problems on worn/faded. Problems of front windshield wipers/washers broken or not working increase most as length of ownership grows.
Highest-Ranked Brands and Models
Porsche ranks highest in vehicle dependability among luxury brands with a score of 87 PP100. BMW (89 PP100) and Cadillac (89 PP100) rank second in a tie.
Beijing Hyundai is the highest-ranked mass market brand, with a score of 94 PP100. Smart ranks second with a score of 100 PP100. MINI (101 PP100) ranks third.
There are 18 models eligible for awards across 18 segments in the 2019 study:
- Beijing Hyundai models that rank highest in their respective segments are Hyundai Yuena Verna, Hyundai Lingdong Elantra, Hyundai Sonata Nine and Hyundai ix35.
- SAIC Volkswagen models that rank highest in their respective segments are Volkswagen Polo, Volkswagen Lamando and Volkswagen Teramont.
- BMW models that rank highest in their respective segments are BMW X3 (Import) and BMW X5.
- Chevrolet models that rank highest in their respective segments are Chevrolet Sail and Chevrolet Trax.
Other models that rank highest in their respective segments are Audi A6L, BYD Song MAX, Cadillac ATS-L, Dongfeng Fengguang 370, Haval H1, Honda Elysion and Lexus NX.
The 2019 study is based on responses from 34,820 vehicle owners who purchased their cars between January 2015 and June 2018. The study includes 284 models from 69 different brands and was fielded from January through July 2019 in 71 major cities across China.
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 has offices serving North America, South America, Asia Pacific and Europe. For more information, please visit china.jdpower.com or stay connected with us on J.D. Power WeChat and Weibo.
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