Tractor Owners’ Age Impacts Satisfaction and Brand Recommendation, J.D. Power Finds

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Mahindra Swaraj, John Deere, Mahindra and New Holland Rank Highest in Respective Segments

SINGAPORE: 7 Aug. 2018 — Tractor performance satisfaction is 20 points lower (on a 1,000-point scale) among owners younger than 35 years of age, compared with those who are older than 35 years, according to the J.D. Power 2018 India Tractor Product Performance Index (PPI) Study,SM released today. Additionally, owners younger than 35 years of age are less likely to recommend their tractor brand to a colleague or friend than are their older counterparts. Nearly two-thirds (63%) of younger buyers say they “definitely would” recommend their tractor brand to friends and relatives, compared with 68% of older buyers who say the same.

Tractor owners’ overall satisfaction with product performance improves to 841 from 823 in 2017, illustrating a second consecutive year of improved satisfaction. The increase in satisfaction is observed in both the machine performance and quality and reliability indices.

“Younger cohorts in rural India are increasingly less influenced by word-of-mouth referrals in their new-product purchase decision and are evaluating products and services on several aspects before finalizing their purchase, while also displaying lower brand stickiness,” said Yukti Arora, Practice Lead at J.D. Power. “With a multitude of choices available, greater information accessibility and strong desire to explore different options, the younger generation of tractor buyers is relatively harder to please. Thus, the success of tractor manufacturers in attracting and retaining the attention of this new generation of buyers hinges on creating value that resonates with them. This set of progressively informed and demanding customers is exerting pressure on OEMs to exhibit unprecedented agility in delivering at a pace that matches their heightened and continually evolving expectations.”

The study also notes a high increase in cross-shopping rate among new tractor buyers over the last 4 years, with 21% customers stating they considered another tractor brand before buying their tractor in 2018, compared to only 14% in 2015. “Just being there is no longer enough to succeed in this market. To navigate through a crowded field of enhanced product offerings and latest technologies, tractor manufacturers need to create distinct experiences that stand-out from the clutter. Thinking of innovative ways of forging long-lasting relationships with customers will help OEMs to harness the opportunity that the sector presents today” said Arora.  

The following are additional key findings of the study:

Above 50 HP segment posts highest satisfaction: Owners of above 50 HP tractors report the highest satisfaction on both machine performance and quality and reliability at 871 and 862 respectively, compared with below 31HP (847 and 841 respectively), 31-40 HP (835 each) and 41-50 HP (845 and 841 respectively) segments.

Tyres remain an issue: Excessive or uneven tire wear continues to be the most frequently reported problem for the fourth consecutive year; it is also cited as the most bothersome problem by tractor owners.

Loyalty is up: Overall loyalty and advocacy rates have gone up in 2018, with 58% of tractor owners saying they “definitely would” purchase the same tractor brand again, compared with 52% in 2017; 65% say they “definitely would” recommend their tractor brand, up from 56% last year. 

Study Rankings

Mahindra Swaraj ranks highest in the below 31 HP and 31-40 HP segments, scoring 864 and 843 points, respectively. Swaraj leads in all seven machine performance categories in the below 31 HP segment, and in six of the seven categories in the 31-40 HP segment. 

John Deere and Mahindra, in a tie, rank highest in the 41-50 HP segment with a score of 851 points. While the former performs particularly well in three of the seven machine performance categories, the latter leads in the remaining four categories.  

New Holland ranks highest in the above 50 HP segment with a score of 870 points.

The 2018 India Tractor Product Performance Index Study is based on responses from 3,835 tractor owners across 14 states. The study was fielded from January 2018 to May 2018 and includes owners who purchased a new tractor between January 2016 and May 2017 from an authorized dealership.

The study, now in its fourth year, examines satisfaction with tractor performance among owners of 12- to 24-month-old tractors. Overall product performance satisfaction is measured in two indices: machine performance and quality and reliability. In the machine performance index, the study captures tractor owners’ evaluations in seven categories (in order of importance): hydraulic and couplings; driveability; engine and transmission; overall styling and design; driving comfort; tractor structure; and tyres. The quality and reliability index covers owners’ experiences and ratings of actual and perceived quality issues. 

J.D. Power has offices in Singapore, Bangkok, Beijing, Shanghai and Tokyo that conduct customer satisfaction research and provide consulting services in the automotive, information technology and finance industries in the Asia Pacific region. Together, the five offices bring the language of customer satisfaction to consumers and businesses in Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. J.D. Power is a portfolio company of XIO Group, a global alternative investments and private equity firm headquartered in London, and is led by its four founders: Athene Li, Joseph Pacini, Murphy Qiao and Carsten Geyer. Information regarding J.D. Power and its products can be accessed through the internet at asean-oceania.jdpower.com.

Media Relations Contacts

Aisling Carty; J.D. Power; Singapore; 65-3165-0119; aisling.carty@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/about-us/press-release-info

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Note: One chart follows.

Media Contacts

Singapore
65-3165-0119
Costa Mesa, California
(714) 621-6224