JD Power Research: Before entering the Europe and the United States, the quality of independent brands still needs to be "toughened"

Shanghai, October 26, 2017 —Under the guidance of the “Belt and Road Initiative”, Chinese automakers have accumulated rich experience in exploring markets in Southeast Asia and the Middle East, but for Chinese automakers, they have only entered the European and American markets It means that Chinese cars have truly entered the international market and become a global brand. At the same time, the technical standards in the European and American markets have also led the global technical standards. Only after the Chinese car companies experienced in the European and American markets can they forge a stronger technical strength and brand image.

However, in the face of a European and American market that has achieved full competition and is becoming saturated, do Chinese car companies that are eager to try have enough confidence and a holistic strategy to ensure success? Recently, at the JD Power 2017 China New Car Quality Research (IQS) Industry Seminar, Jacob George, vice president and general manager of JD Power Asia Pacific, and Cai Ming , general manager of the China Automotive Products Division , deeply analyzed the current Chinese car The advantages and disadvantages of enterprises and the possibility of entering overseas markets.

Jacob George (left), vice president and general manager of JD Power Asia Pacific and Cai Ming (right), general manager of China Automotive Products Division

Before going abroad, Chinese auto companies need to "self-check"

"Compared with 10 years ago, Chinese auto companies have made great progress, and have learned a lot from joint venture partners, and reserve a group of experienced automotive talents. Maybe when we talked about" going out "five years ago, They are not completely ready; but now, they are more confident. "Jacob George said.

The timing of going out for independent brands cannot be generalized. Because the development degree and development path of each independent brand are different, the positioning and target customer group are also different, so there is no one time point applicable to all brands.

However, before entering the mature market, car companies first need to examine their strengths in four aspects: Product, Promotion, Place, and Price. For example, whether the product charm (performance, design and operation), the quality and durability of the new car can reach the average level of the target market, whether the product positioning can meet the special needs of local consumers, whether it has established its own sales channel, and whether there is a corresponding pricing strategy Wait.

 A series of research by JD Power can help manufacturers measure their own level and industry position in terms of production, sales and after-sales.

Among these four Ps, products are the most important; and among products, quality is the most important. "Everything else, including channels, prices, laws and regulations, is based on the quality of products that meet the needs of local consumers. Without quality assurance, it is impossible to enter the European and American markets." Cai Ming believes .

When Chinese automakers "self-inspect", if they find that the quality cannot reach the industry average of the target market, they should postpone the release until the next generation of models that meet the quality requirements are launched. Quality assurance is only the bottom line for European and American consumers. In addition, they have to see the highlights of Chinese brands before they are willing to try. Persuading overseas consumers to choose a Chinese car brand-the challenge facing self-owned brands overseas may be greater than that facing the domestic market.

Ignoring quality problems will cause lasting damage to the brand

From the experience of Hyundai Motors entering the US market in the mid-1980s, it can be seen that quality issues are of paramount importance for a car company entering the overseas market.

When Hyundai Motor just entered the US market, it achieved short-term success with affordable prices, but this success of maintaining sales at low prices did not last long. Consumers soon discovered that the quality of the car was poor and the price advantage was not enough To cover up the quality problems, Hyundai Motor was once in a sales crisis, and the annual sales volume was less than 100,000 units at the worst.

Subsequently, under the suggestion of JD Power, Hyundai Motor has determined to improve the quality of new cars as the company's core task, led by the chairman, and pay close attention to product quality throughout the company. In addition, Hyundai Motor has taken various measures to restore its corporate reputation, including the provision of industry-leading warranty programs ("Hyundai Advantage Warranty Program"-10-year 100,000-mile powertrain protection, 5-year 60,000-mile vehicle warranty, 5-year Unlimited mileage road rescue service), improve product configuration, re-energize the confidence and enthusiasm of dealers and formulate a well-ordered marketing plan.

Jacob concluded: "Even so, from 2000 to 2005, Hyundai Motor gradually reversed the bad brand image of poor quality in the minds of American consumers and won the favor of consumers. Although Hyundai Motor is currently experiencing a crisis, but in In the eyes of American consumers, Hyundai Motors is still a trusted brand. "

Catch up with Europe and the United States, the quality of independent brands has been improved

By tracking and comparing the number of problems per 100 vehicles between independent brands and international brands for 18 consecutive years, JD Power found that the gap between independent brands and international brands has narrowed for seven consecutive years, and the two are getting closer. The gap this year is only 13 PP100 , One PP100 less than in 2014. But in 2013, 2014 and 2015, the gap between the two was 51 PP100, 36 PP100 and 22 PP100.

 The gap between independent brands and international brands has been close year by year, data source: JD Power 2017 China new car quality research

After a period of high-speed catch-up, the quality of its own brands has slowed down. Although this year's independent brand has exceeded international brands for the first time in three areas (body interior, configuration, control and dashboard, audio / communication / entertainment / navigation), but in the four areas of body appearance, driving experience, seats and air conditioning systems and The gap between international brands has actually widened.

In addition, the gap between independent brands and international brands in some traditional areas of automobile quality such as engines and transmission systems still exists. Cai Ming emphasized: "Improvements in these traditional areas require years of accumulation to change from quantitative to qualitative changes. It is not simply an increase in investment that can be immediate."

The top 20 issues that Chinese consumers complained the most in 2017 were exactly the same as last year, indicating that the issues that consumers continue to report have not been resolved well. The remaining problems may not be easy to solve, but it is also the opportunity for manufacturers to preempt competitors to solve problems and establish an industry leading position. Taking "in-car odor" as an example, although this year's "in-car odor" continues to rank first among consumers' complaints, the PP100 of self-owned brands in this regard is decreasing and some progress has been made. This shows that the "odor in the car" is not an unsolvable problem, but whether the manufacturers and the industry have the determination to overcome it.

The quality improvement of self-owned brands has entered the shift period, and it is unlikely to continue to maintain the rapid development and rapid improvement of previous years. This is also the performance of the market to a certain stage of maturity. "In the future, the problems that self-owned brands need to overcome will be more difficult, and every progress will require more effort. But over the heavy hills, the self-owned brands will be displayed in a new image of" Made in China "in the world In front. "Cai Ming added.

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