J.D. Power Asia Pacific Reports:
Overall Vehicle Dependability in China Declines Slightly;
Windshield Wipers and Washer Broken/ Not Working Properly Is the Most Common Problem
Models from Japanese Brands Rank Highest in Four of the 10 Award Segments;
Lexus Ranks Highest among Nameplates
SHANGHAI: 20 December 2013 -- Overall vehicle long-term dependability in China declines slightly in 2013, according to the J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2013 China Vehicle Dependability StudySM (VDS) released today.
Now in its fourth year, the study measures problems experienced during the past six months by original owners of vehicles after 25 to 36 months of ownership and includes 202 problem symptoms across eight categories: engine and transmission; vehicle exterior; driving experience; features/ controls/ displays; audio/ entertainment/ navigation; seats; heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC); and vehicle interior. Overall dependability is determined by the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100), with a lower score reflecting higher quality.
Overall vehicle dependability in 2013 averages 201 PP100, a slight increase from 196 PP100 in 2012. Problem increase occurs in the following categories: driving experience; features/ controls/ displays; HVAC; vehicle interior; and audio/ entertainment/ navigation. The study also finds that 50 percent of owners indicate they have replaced at least one vehicle component during the past six months.
Windshield wipers and washer broken/ not working properly are reported as the most common problem with approximately 10 PP1001. There are approximately 9 PP100 of the windshield wipers and washer problem with international brands, and about 13 PP100 with domestic brands.
"With striking strides made across the board in terms of the initial quality, now is time the Chinese automobile industry shifts the focus to long-term dependability," said Dr. Mei Songlin, vice president and managing director of J.D. Power China. "Consistent efforts in improving vehicle durability will likely pay off in terms of customer perceptions in due time and create market differentiation."
Long-term dependability has become a prominent challenge for the industry particularly with the Three Guarantee policy going into effect in China, added Mei.
2013 VDS Ranking Highlights
Lexus ranks highest among the 51 nameplates2 included in the study, averaging 66 PP100. Cadillac (77 PP100) ranks second, followed by Volvo (86 PP100); BMW (92 PP100); and Hyundai (117 PP100). Baojun (158 PP100) and MG (169 PP100)--both Chinese domestic brands--perform above industry average, ranking 12th and 15,th respectively.
Models from Japanese brands rank highest in four of the 10 award segments. Chinese domestic brands rank highest in three segments, while U.S. brand Shanghai General Motors ranks highest in two segments. European brand BMW ranks highest in one segment. Models ranking highest overall in their respective segments are:
-- Compact: Baojun Lechi
-- Premium Compact: Suzuki Swift
-- Entry Midsize: Chevrolet Aveo/Lova
-- Midsize: Honda City Fengfan
-- Lower Premium Midsize: MG 6
-- Upper Premium Midsize: Toyota Reiz
-- Luxury: BMW 7 Series
-- SUV: Toyota Land Cruiser Prado
-- MPV: Buick New GL8
-- Mini Van: Wuling Hongguang
Frequently Reported Problems
The top five most frequently reported problems in 2013 are windshield wipers or washers are broken or not working properly; brakes are noisy; engine loses power when air conditioning is turned on; air conditioning doesn't get cold enough fast enough; and excessive wind noise. These top problems are consistent with those in the 2011 and 2012 studies.
Many of the key vehicle dependability problems and symptoms are consistent with the top problems identified in the 2013 China IQS, which measures problems customers experience during the first two to six months of ownership. Specifically, six of the top 10 problem symptoms in the 2013 China IQS also rank among the top problem symptoms in the 2013 China VDS, including excessive fuel consumption; brakes are noisy; excessive wind noise; engine loses power when air conditioning is turned on; abnormal engine noises; and air conditioner doesn't get cold enough fast enough.
The component replacement rate increases 5.6 percent year over year. The top three most frequently replaced components are exterior lights (5.5%); horns (4.2%); and interior lights (3.7%)3. These components were also the most frequently replaced components in 2012.
"Reducing the number of component replacements is critical for automakers, because the increase of component replacement will direct the likelihood of customer-reported problems, and diminishes brand loyalty," said Tony Zhou, director of automotive research at J.D. Power China.
Among owners who indicate that they did not experience any problems with their vehicle, 31 percent say they "definitely would" recommend their vehicle to family and friends, compared with only 19 percent among those who experience one and more than one problem.
The 2013 China Vehicle Dependability Study is based on evaluations from 17,883 owners of vehicles purchased between June 2010 and August 2011 and includes 161 models from 59 different brands. The study was fielded between June and September 2013 in 37 cities across China.
1There are 10 vehicles, per 100 vehicles in average, reported with the problem of windshield wipers and washer broken/ not working properly.
2Excluding eight brands with insufficient samples and small samples
3Excluding wear items such as brake pads, tires and wiper blades
About J.D. Power Asia Pacific
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