As per the results of the J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2009 India
Initial Quality Study (IQS) released today, overall new-vehicle initial quality in India has improved notably from 2008. Yes, you just read that right.
The study, which measures the problems of owners and their experience with their new vehicle during the first two to six months of ownership, examines more than 200 problem symptoms covering categories that include engine and transmission, AC, controls and displays, interiors, audio, entertainment and navigation systems and others. All problems are summarized as the number of problems per 100 vehicles (PP100). Lower PP100 scores indicate a lower rate of problem incidence and higher initial quality.
Overall, initial quality in India averaged 155 PP100 in 2009, compared with 187 PP100 in 2008 (hence an improvement of 32 PP100). Among the 38 vehicle models also included in the 2008 study, 25 show improvement by at least 10 PP100 in 2009.
Initial quality in the engine and transmission category improves more than in any other category, with 12 fewer PP100 than in 2008. Although excessive fuel consumption continues to be the single issue most commonly reported by owners, this problem area improves more than any other area, compared with 2008.
It is roughly Nine out of 11 automotive manufacturers have improved in initial quality since 2008, and as an industry, manufacturers in India have consistently delivered increasing levels of initial quality throughout the years opines Mohit Arora who is the senior director at J.D. Power Asia Pacific, Singapore.
Two Honda models rank highest in their respective segments. The Civic(46 PP100) ranks highest in the premium midsize car segment for the second consecutive year, improving by 32 PP100 from 2008. The City (79 PP100) ranks highest in the midsize car segment.
For the third consecutive year, the Chevrolet Spark ranks highest in the compact car segment with a score of 116 PP100. The newly launched Maruti Suzuki Ritz ranks highest in the premium compact car segment with a score of 95 PP100. In the entry midsize car segment, the Ford Ikon ranks highest with 90 PP100. In the MUV/MPV segment, the Toyota Innova (77 PP100) ranks highest for the third consecutive year.
Incidence of problems, particularly during the initial ownership period, leads not only to increased dissatisfaction, but also to lower levels of loyalty and advocacy. Owners who report an initial quality problem are much less likely to repurchase or recommend the same make, compared with those who do not report experiencing a problem. Loyalty and advocacy intentions decline by 9 and 14 percentage points, respectively, among owners who report experiencing problems during the initial ownership period.
The 2009 India IQS, now in its 13th year, is based on evaluations from more than 6,600 owners who purchased a new vehicle between November 2008 and July 2009. The study includes 50 vehicle models covering 13 makes. The study was fielded from May to September 2009 in 20 cities across India.