Vehicle dependability improves in India – JD Power

By Rahul Kapoor | on July 22, 2016

In the J.D. Power India Vehicle Dependability Study, Indian vehicles have improved for a third consecutive year in terms of long-term dependability.

The J.D. Power 2016 India Vehicle Dependability Study has shown that long term vehicle dependability in India has improved as nearly half of car owners in India have indicated that they are not experiencing any problems with their vehicles.

This study was the ninth time J.D. Power has conducted, and included 7,717 original owners of two-and-a-half to three-and-a-half, year old vehicles, taking consideration of 169 different possible problem symptoms across nine vehicle categories. The categories are Vehicle Exterior, Driving Experience, Features, Controls & Displays, Audio/ Entertainment, Seats, Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning, Vehicle Interior, Engine and Transmission.

Overall dependability is based on the number of problems reported per 100 vehicles (PP100) with low scores reflecting higher long-term vehicle quality. The study provides information about the quality of vehicles that are nearing their end of warranty and owners are assuming the responsibility of repairs costs.

Overall dependability in India has made steady gains in the last three years. In 2014, the rating was 218 PP100, the following year in 2015, the ratings got getter at 206 PP100. In the 2016 study, J.D Power has found the ratings to be 185 PP100. Additionally, the study this year found that the number of owners who had taken their cars in for unexpected repairs has also declined since 2014.

However, the study shows that diesel cars have continued to have more problems compared to petrol vehicles, but the gap between the two have narrowed marginally year after year. But the rate at which diesel vehicles are outpacing petrol vehicles in minimizing the occurrence of repairs is significant. The incidence of unexpected repairs has decreased to 29% in 2016 for diesel engines, while it stood at 41% in 2014. The incidence for petrol vehicles which stood at 35% in 2014, now has dropped to 25% in the findings of the latest study.

Among the nine problem categories of the study, driving experience accounts for 20% of all problems reported by owners. The latest study has found that issues related to strut/suspension/shock absorber and excessive or uneven tyre wear issues have declined in the category.

“Vehicles in India are operated under a variety of road and weather conditions that lead to varying degrees of quality deterioration which affects overall owner satisfaction and word-of-mouth recommendations,” said Shantanu Nandi Majumdar, director at J.D. Power, Singapore. “It is therefore important for manufacturers to understand and minimize this fact by designing products to not only achieve high levels of initial quality but also attain higher levels of longer-term reliability and durability.”

Some of the key findings of the study include:

  • Customer advocacy and loyalty influenced heavily by dependability.

64% of owners who do not have to take their vehicles in for unexpected repair work they “definitely would” recommend the same model to others, compared to 52% of those whose vehicles have to have such work performed.

Similarly, 46% of owners of more dependable vehicles say that they “definitely would” repurchase the same make compared to 38% of owners of less-dependable vehicles.

  • Fewer problems noticed in newly launched models

The largest difference in the number of problems in newly launched models have mainly been regarding vehicle exterior, engine and driving experience by owners. 40 PP100 fewer reports have been made by owners at the time of purchase in newer vehicles compared to vehicles that had been available in the market in previous years.

  • Fewer problems reported by first time buyers

First time buyers have now reported fewer problems compared to repeat buyers. Repeat buys have reported around 197 PP100, while first time buyers report 177 PP100.

The 2016 India Vehicle Dependability Study rankings category wise winners are as follows:

Entry Compact: Maruti Suzuki Alto 800

In overall dependability, the Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 scored 5 points compared to the Tata Nano and Hyundai Eon which received only 3 points each.

Compact: Maruti Suzuki Alto K10

The Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 was awarded 5 points in overall dependability when compared to the Hyundai i10 which was awarded 4 points, Hyundai Santro was awarded 3, while the Maruti Suzuki Wagon R and the Tata Indica were awarded 3 points each.

Upper Compact: Honda Brio

In the Upper Compact category, the Honda Brio received 5 points in overall dependability. It competed against the Maruti Suzuki Ritz, which also had a 5 points rating but missed out on the top spot marginally. Other vehicles in the category include, the Toyota Eitos Liva and the Nissan Micra, both which received 4 points each, the Chevrolet Beat which got 3 points, while the Ford Figo and the Tata Indica Vista, both got 2 points each.

Premium Compact: Volkswagen Polo

Competing with the Hyundai i20 and the Maruti Suzuki Swift, both which received 3 and 2 points respectively, the Volkswagen Polo won in the category with a 5 point rating in overall dependability.

Entry Midsize: Toyota Etios

While the Honda Amaze was awarded 5 points, the Toyota Etios won the category with 5 points as well while only losing out to the Amaze in two categories. The Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire and the Tata Indigo/ Indigo CS received 3 and 2 points respectively overall.

Midsize: Škoda Rapid

The most dependable car in the midsize category as per the study was found to be the Škoda Rapid which only lost out to the ever popular Honda city in terms of engine and air conditioning categories as both cars were awarded 5 points each. The Volkswagen Vento got 4 points while the Hyundai Verna received 3 and the Nissan Sunny got 2.

MUV/MPV: Toyota Innova

The ever popular Toyota Innova not only leads in its sales figures in its segments, but also comes with Toyota’s seemingly nuclear proof dependability. J.D. Power’s study has found the Innova to be the most dependable MPV/MUV with a 5-point rating. In close second was the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga, which also got 5 points by beating the Inova in the seating department according to the study. The Mahindra Xylo and the Mahindra Bolero both received 3 and 2 points respectively in the segment.

SUV: Mahindra XUV 500

In the SUV category the Mahindra XUV 500 has proven to be the most dependable car with 5 points when compared to the Renault Duster with 4 points. The Mahindra Scorpio was awarded only 2 points in the study.

*The study gives these points out of a maximum of 5. According to J.D. Power, 5 points refers to “Among the best”, 4 points means “Better than most”. 3 points mean “About Average” and two points refers to “The Rest”.

Also Read: Interview with Kaustav Roy, Director, J.D. Power India

Tags: Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 Honda Brio Toyota Etios Volkswagen Polo Skoda Rapid JD Power Mahindra XUV 500

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