Overall New-Vehicle Quality in Thailand Improves but Pickup Owners Report Noticeably More Problems, J.D. Power Finds

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Toyota Receive Initial Quality Awards in Four Segments; Honda, Isuzu and Ford Each Receive One 

BANGKOK: 30 Nov.  2016 — The initial quality of new vehicles in Thailand is improving overall, yet owners of pickup trucks and premium midsize cars are reporting more problems, according to the J.D. Power 2016 Thailand Initial Quality StudySM (IQS), released today.

Overall initial quality averages 87 PP100 in 2016, down four points from 91 PP100 2015. Quality improves in all vehicle segments except for the pickup segments, which combined average 100 PP100 in 2016, a 10 PP100 increase compared with 2015, and the premium midsize car segment, which increases to 66 PP100 in from 59 in 2015.

The study also finds that owners of “new” models—those which are new to the market or have undergone a major change for the model year—report 81 PP100, fewer than the 88 PP100 for existing models which had no changes or only minor refreshes for the model year.  

“Newer models recently launched in the market show better build quality than older ones and this has a positive impact on overall satisfaction with initial vehicle quality,” said Siros Satrabhaya, branch manager at J.D. Power. “However, users of pickup models report noticeably more problems, notably in the exterior and HVAC categories. Pickup manufacturers are therefore advised to listen to the voice of their customers and work at reducing the occurrence of these issues in future upgrades.” 

The study finds that exterior problems account for 30% of total problems in 2016, up from 25% in 2015. In addition, HVAC problems increased to 8% from 7%. The most frequently cited problems in the vehicle exterior category relate to excessive wind noise and doors hard to open or close. Key problems in the HVAC category are with windows fogging up excessively and air-conditioning not getting cold enough.

Half of the 20 most frequently reported problems are design related. In addition, owners are reporting an increased number of problems related to the interior, driving experience and engine/ transmission, such as materials scuffing/ soiling too easily, poor suspension system or lack of engine power during the first start of the day.  

“Manufacturers should be mindful of the increase in design-related issues across all vehicle segments, which cause discomfort or annoyance to drivers or passengers while using certain features,” said Satrabhaya. 

Following are additional key findings of the study: 

  • Luxury Leads the Way: Luxury car owners report the fewest number of problems with their vehicle (50 PP100), and pickup double cab and extended cab owners report the highest number of problems (103 and 104 PP100, respectively). 
  • Wind Noise Continues: Excessive wind noise (13.1 PP100) remains the most frequently reported problem symptom, as it has since 2008. Two new problems join the top 5 most cited problems:  windows fog up a lot/ don't clear as wanted (2.6 PP100) and excessive fuel consumption (2.4 PP100).
  • Quality Affects Loyalty: Loyalty and repurchase intentions are proportional to customer satisfaction with overall vehicle quality. Among delighted customers, 86% say they “definitely would” recommend their vehicle model and 73% say they “definitely would” repurchase their vehicle make; among disappointed or indifferent customers, only 44% intend to recommend their vehicle model to others and 30%, intend to repurchase the same make of vehicle.

About the Study

The study measures problems experienced by new-vehicle owners during the first two to six months of ownership and examines more than 200 problem symptoms in eight component categories (listed in order of frequency of reported problems): vehicle exterior; engine/ transmission; driving experience; vehicle interior; HVAC; audio, entertainment and navigation (ACEN); features, controls and displays; and seats. All problems are summarized as the number of problems per 100 vehicles (PP100), with lower PP100 scores indicating a lower incidence of problems and, therefore, higher initial quality.

Study Rankings

Toyota receives four model-level awards: the Yaris (70 PP100) in the compact car segment; the Vios in the entry midsize car segment (62 PP100); the Corolla Altis (67 PP100) in the midsize car segment; and the Hilux Revo Prerunner Smart Cab (83 PP100) in the pickup extended cab segment. 

The study now includes three SUV segments: compact, midsize and large SUV. The Honda HR-V receives the award in the compact SUV segment (84 PP100) while the Isuzu MU-X (67 PP100) ranks highest in the large SUV segment. No award is given this year in the midsize SUV segment due to insufficient number of rankable models.

The Ford Ranger D-Cab (81 PP100) ranks highest in the pickup double cab segment.

The 2016 Thailand Initial Quality Study (IQS) is based on responses from 4,813 new-vehicle owners who purchased their vehicle from November 2015 through July 2016. The study covers 13 different brands that include 82 different passenger car, pickup truck and utility vehicle models. The study was fielded from May through September 2016. 

Media Relations Contacts

John Tews; J.D. Power; Troy, Michigan, USA; 001-248-680-6218; john.tews@jdpa.com

About J.D. Power in the Asia Pacific Region 

J.D. Power has offices in Tokyo, Singapore, Beijing, Shanghai, Malaysia and Bangkok that conduct customer satisfaction research and provide consulting services in the automotive, information technology and finance industries in the Asia Pacific region. Together, the six offices bring the language of customer satisfaction to consumers and businesses in Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. Information regarding J.D. Power and its products can be accessed through the internet at asean-oceania.jdpower.com.

About J.D. Power and Advertising/Promotional Rules www.jdpower.com/about-us/press-release-info

Media Contacts

Troy, Michigan
(248) 680-6218

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