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Initial Vehicle Quality Improves in India, Though Repeat Buyers Remain More Critical, J.D. Power Finds

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Hyundai Receives 5 Model-Level Awards for Initial Quality; Honda and Maruti Suzuki Each Receive One Award

SINGAPORE: 21 Jan. 2020 — Overall initial quality has improved year over year in India with new owners citing an average of 69 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100) in 2019 compared with 81 PP100 in 2018, according to the J.D. Power 2019 India Initial Quality StudySM (IQS), released today.

Initial quality is measured by the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100) during the first 2-6 months of ownership, with a lower score reflecting higher quality. Largest improvements amongst ranked segments have been reported in the compact and premium compact segments with a decline in reported problems of -17 PP100 in each segment, respectively. All other ranked segments in the study have either improved or remained unchanged since 2018.

The study finds that the 28% of owners who have replaced or bought an additional vehicle report a higher number of problems compared to first-time buyers. On average, repeat or replacement vehicle buyers have a 98 PP100 score compared with 57 PP100 among first-time buyers. Notably, repeat vehicle buyers report more problems related to issues with their models’ engine/transmission, exterior, interior and features/controls/displays than first-time buyers.

“It is very encouraging to see the industry improve on initial quality,” said Kaustav Roy, Director and Country Head, India at J.D. Power. “The concerted efforts among manufacturers to improve initial product quality is critical at a time when sales are under pressure, competition is fierce and customer expectations are ever rising.”

Following are key findings of the 2019 study:

  • Engine/transmission category improves the most: The number of problems cited in this category have improved the most (15.6 PP100 in 2019 vs. 19.3 PP100). 
     
  • Automatic transmissions experience more problems than manuals: With a growing number of automatic models entering the market, it is notable to see owners with automatic transmissions indicating, on average, more problems (84 PP100 vs. 67 PP100, respectively).
     
  • Despite improved quality, top three problems remain the same: Despite an improvement in overall initial quality in 2019, the top three problem areas remain the same: excessive fuel consumption (5.4 PP100 in 2019 vs 7.2 PP100 in 2018); manual gears—difficult to get in gear/grind (2.6 PP100 vs 3.7 PP100 in 2018); and brakes are too noisy (2.0 PP100 vs. 3.1 PP100 in 2018).

Study Rankings

Hyundai Santro (54 PP100) ranks highest in the compact segment. In the premium compact segment, Hyundai Elite i20/Active ranks highest with 57 PP100. 

Honda Amaze (75 PP100) ranks highest in the entry midsize segment. Hyundai Verna (63 PP100) ranks highest in the midsize segment. 

Hyundai Venue (52 PP100) ranks highest in the compact SUV segment while Hyundai Creta (63 PP100) ranks highest in the SUV segment.

Maruti Suzuki Ertiga ranks highest in the MUV/MPV segment with 49 PP100.

The 2019 India Initial Quality Study (IQS) is based on responses from 6,051 new vehicle owners who purchased their vehicle from October 2018 through October 2019. The study includes 66 models from 13 makes. 

The study measures problems experienced by new vehicle owners during the first two to six months of ownership and examines more than 200 problem symptoms in eight problem categories (listed in order of frequency of reported problems): engine/transmission; heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC); driving experience; vehicle exterior; features, controls and displays; vehicle interior; audio, entertainment and navigation (AEN); and seats. 

J.D. Power is a global leader in consumer insights, advisory services and data and analytics. These 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, Asia Pacific and Europe.

Media Relations Contacts
Gordon Shields; J.D. Power; Singapore; 65-3165-0100; gordon.shields@jdpa.com
Geno Effler; J.D. Power; Costa Mesa, Calif., USA; 001-714-621-6224; media.relations@jdpa.com

About J.D. Power and Advertising/Promotional Rules www.jdpower.com/business/about-us/press-release-info

Media Contacts

Geno Effler

Costa Mesa, California
(714) 621-6224
media.relations@jdpa.com
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