J.D. Power and Associates and What Car? Report: Providing a Highly Satisfying Service Experience for Vehicle Owners May Lead to a Fourfold Increase in Customer Retention

Lexus Ranks Highest in Satisfying New-Vehicle Owners for a 10th Consecutive Year

Jun 03, 2010, 03:00 ET from J.D. Power and Associates

LONDON, June 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Providing vehicle owners with a highly satisfying service experience may have a considerable impact on customer retention, according to the J.D. Power and Associates/What Car? 2010 UK Vehicle Ownership Satisfaction Study (VOSS)(SM) released today.

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The study finds that vehicle owners who are highly satisfied (satisfaction scores of 900 or above) with their service experience are approximately four times more likely to return to that dealer, compared with less-satisfied vehicle owners (scores of 800 or lower). In addition, an increase in satisfaction with the dealer may lead to increased revenue, as vehicle owners who are highly satisfied with dealer service are four times more likely to consider the dealer and brand when they purchase a new vehicle.

"If dealerships want vehicle owners to return, it's crucial to make sure there's a focus on customer needs and that the repair work is completed correctly the first time," said Martin Volk, senior research manager at J.D. Power and Associates. "It's clear that providing a highly satisfying service experience may have a considerable impact on a dealer's bottom line."

The study also finds that vehicle owners who indicate that they received an outstanding vehicle ownership experience are approximately three times more likely to purchase the same vehicle make than are less-satisfied customers.

The study measures customer satisfaction with the vehicle and dealer service based on evaluation of 67 attributes grouped in four key measures. In order of importance, they are: vehicle appeal (37%), which includes performance, design, comfort and features; vehicle quality and reliability (24%); ownership costs (22%), which includes fuel consumption, insurance and costs of service/repair; and dealer service satisfaction (17%).

Lexus ranks highest in satisfying new-vehicle owners for a 10th consecutive year, with a score of 846 on a 1,000-point scale. Lexus performs particularly well in three of the four key measures: vehicle quality and reliability; vehicle appeal; and service satisfaction. Rounding out the highest-ranked five nameplates are Honda (825), Jaguar (818), Mercedes-Benz (817) and Toyota (814).

"Rising to the top of the manufacturer's ranking in ownership satisfaction requires a concerted customer-focused approach throughout the vehicle life cycle, from the product concept stages to servicing customers during the ownership period," said Volk. "Earning industry-benchmark status year after year demands an in-depth understanding on how to match and further exceed customer expectations in an ever-changing and challenging environment within the automotive industry."

At the model level, Lexus, Honda and Toyota each capture two awards. The Lexus RX (SUV) and IS (compact executive car); Honda Jazz (small car) and Accord (upper medium car); and Toyota Aygo (city car) and Yaris (small car) each rank highest in their respective segments. Also receiving segment-level awards are the Kia cee'd (lower medium car); Mazda MX-5 (sports car); and the Mercedes-Benz B-Class (MPV).

While a majority of brands have increased in satisfaction compared with 2009, Hyundai, Mitsubishi and Nissan all improve considerably—up 19 points, 24 points and 14 points, respectively. In addition, Jaguar improves considerably from 2009—up 13 points—and performs particularly well in vehicle appeal and service satisfaction. The Jaguar XF also ranks highest in the executive/luxury car segment.

"It's a fantastic performance from Jaguar and great news for the brand," said Steve Fowler, editor of What Car? "It's also great to hear that the XF, which we made our Car of the Year in 2008, has gone on to please owners enough to make it the top car in its class."

The 2010 UK Vehicle Ownership Satisfaction Study (VOSS) is based on the evaluations of more than 17,000 online interviews from UK car owners after an average of two years of ownership. The study was fielded in December 2009 and January 2010.

The annual J.D. Power and Associates/What Car? study gives consumers access to reliable and accurate information about many vehicle models, and helps manufacturers provide high levels of satisfaction to their customers. More comprehensive study results are published exclusively in the July issue of What Car? on sale Thursday, June 3, 2010.(1)

VOSS Manufacturer Index Ranking

(Based on a 1,000-point scale)


Manufacturer

Index Score

Lexus

846

Honda

825

Jaguar

818

Mercedes-Benz

817

Toyota

814

Skoda

813

BMW

809

MINI

808

Audi

807

Volvo

807

Volkswagen

801

Mazda

799

Nissan

794

Land Rover

792

Mitsubishi

789

SAAB

789

Industry Average

789

Hyundai

787

Citroen

782

Kia

782

Seat

781

Ford

777

Renault

771

Vauxhall

768

Peugeot

764

Suzuki

763

Fiat

761

Chevrolet

742




Top Three Models per Segment


Overall VOSS




City Car


Toyota Aygo

807

Fiat Panda

804

smart fortwo

802



Small Car


Honda Jazz

831

Toyota Yaris

831

Mazda 2

811



Lower Medium Car


Kia c'eed

838

BMW 1 Series

824

Skoda Octavia

824



Upper Medium Car


Honda Accord

837

Toyota Prius

834

Volvo S40

824



Compact Executive Car


Lexus IS

839

Mercedes-Benz C-Class

823

Audi A5

817



Executive/Luxury Car


Jaguar XF

839

Audi A6

827

Mercedes-Benz E-Class

822



Sports Car


Mazda MX-5

823

Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class

820

Volkswagen Eos

813



MPV


Mercedes-Benz B-Class

814

Citroen C4 Grand Picasso

809

Toyota Corolla Verso

807



SUV


Lexus RX

867

Honda CR-V

827

Toyota RAV4

823



About J.D. Power and Associates

The European headquarters of J.D. Power and Associates is located in Munich, Germany.  With world headquarters in Westlake Village, California, U.S.A., J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company operating in key business sectors including market research, forecasting, performance improvement, Web intelligence and customer satisfaction.  The company's quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually.  J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

About The McGraw-Hill Companies

Founded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP) is a global information and education company providing knowledge, insights and analysis in the financial, education and business information sectors through leading brands including Standard & Poor's, McGraw-Hill Education, Platts, and J.D. Power and Associates. The Corporation has more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Sales in 2009 were $5.95 billion. Additional information is available at http://www.mcgraw-hill.com.

About What Car?

Over one million consumers consult What Car? every month. The What Car? stable also includes the award-winning website whatcar.com, What Car? New Car Guide, What Car? Price Guide, What Car? TV, What Car? Mobile and What Car? Video – available online or as a video podcast.  What Car? is part of the Haymarket Media Group, the United Kingdom's largest independently owned publishing company with a portfolio of over 150 titles, ranging from specialist consumer magazines to business titles and customer publications, published via wholly owned subsidiaries, joint ventures and under license worldwide.  www.whatcar.com

Media Relations Contacts:

John Tews; J.D. Power and Associates; Director, Media Relations; 5435 Corporate Drive, Suite 300; Troy, MI 48098, USA; Tel: +1 (248) 312-4119; john.tews@jdpa.com

Karen Parry; What Car? Magazine; Tel: +44 (0)1784 456 526; Mob: +44 (0)7903 955 696; karen@prandmediaworks.com; karen.parry@haymarket.com

No advertising or other promotional use can be made of the information in this release without the express prior written consent of J.D. Power and Associates. J.D. Power and Associates press releases and media information can also be accessed at www.jdpower.com/corporate

(1) Study results published in What Car? use some segment names and definitions that differ from J.D. Power and Associates' segmentation. These include: supermini (for small car segment), small family car (for lower medium car segment) and family car (for upper medium car segment).

SOURCE J.D. Power and Associates



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