Newly Launched Models Perform Better than Carry-Over Models on APEAL Satisfaction, J.D. Power Finds

Honda Receives Three Model-Level Awards; Bajaj, Hero, TVS Each Receive Model-Level Award

NEW DELHI: 3 April 2017 — Buyers of newly launched two-wheeler models have higher satisfaction than buyers of carry-over models, according to the J.D. Power 2017 India Two-Wheeler Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (2WAPEAL) Study,SM released today. However, satisfaction declines if buyers face problems with vehicle quality during the initial ownership period.

The study is a key industry benchmark that measures owners’ emotional attachment and level of excitement for new two-wheelers during the first two to six months of ownership. The study examines 34 attributes across six performance categories (in alphabetical order): control switches/ locks; engine and transmission performance; fuel economy; looks and styling; ride and handling; and seats. Overall APEAL performance is reported as an index score based on a 1,000-point scale, with a higher score indicating higher satisfaction.

In the motorcycle category, the newly launched models not only generate higher APEAL satisfaction than carry-over models from last year (831 vs. 826, respectively), but also perform better in terms of initial quality problems[1] experienced by buyers (139 PP100[2] vs. 152 PP100, respectively).

Among scooters, satisfaction with the newly launched models is 12 points lower than for carry-over models (817 vs. 829, respectively). The reason is that newly launched scooter models fare worse than carry-over models with initial quality problems (146 PP100 vs. 126 PP100, respectively).

“Two-wheeler manufacturers launch multiple new models each year that offer contemporary looks, styling and increased feature contenting,” said Kaustav Roy, director at J.D. Power, Singapore. “However, the quality of execution is pivotal to satisfaction. Buyers in India have a wide range of two-wheelers to choose from, thus it would be prudent for OEMs to ensure that their new products are of improved quality to benefit from sustained acceptance by customers.”

Following are some key findings of this year’s study:

  • Satisfaction leads to advocacy: Among highly satisfied owners (overall satisfaction of 904 points and above), more than two-thirds (70%) say they “definitely would” recommend their two-wheeler to a friend or relative, compared with just 37% of highly dissatisfied owners (overall satisfaction below 772) who would offer a similar recommendation.
  • Initial quality has a strong influence: Satisfaction among owners who have not experienced any initial quality problem (62%) with their two-wheeler during ownership is 66 points higher than among owners who report a problem (852 vs. 786, respectively).
  • Explanation of features and benefits improves APEAL satisfaction: Overall satisfaction among owners who received an explanation about vehicle features and benefits during the delivery process (78%) averages 51 points higher than among those who did not receive such information (841 vs. 790, respectively).
  • Greater satisfaction with looks and styling of newly launched two-wheelers: Satisfaction with the looks and styling of their vehicle is higher among owners of newly launched two-wheelers compared to that of buyers of two-wheeler models that were carried over from last year (846 vs. 837, respectively).

“Because visual appeal—looks and styling—is the main purchase reason most often cited by buyers of newly launched two-wheelers, a more regular cycle of product styling updates by manufacturers would resonate well with consumers,” said Rajat Agarwal, two-wheeler industry expert at J.D. Power, Singapore.

Results by Segment

Award recipient segments include scooters (executive) and motorcycles (economy, executive, upper executive and premium).

In the scooter segment, Honda Activa I (844) ranks highest among executive models.

In the motorcycle segment, debutant Honda Livo and TVS Sport rank highest in a tie (842 each) among economy models, and Hero Super Splendor (836) ranks highest among executive models. Bajaj Avenger 150 (846), a debutant model, ranks highest among upper executive models while another debutant model, Honda CB Hornet 160R (858), ranks highest among premium models.

The 2017 India Two-Wheeler Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (2WAPEAL) Study is based on evaluations from 9,406 owners who purchased a new vehicle between March 2016 and October 2016. The study includes 87 two-wheeler models from 10 makes, and was fielded from September-December 2016 in 45 cities across India. 

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. 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. Information regarding J.D. Power and its products can be accessed through the internet at www.asean‐

No advertising or other promotional use can be made of the information in this release without the express prior written consent of J.D. Power.

[1]Source: J.D. Power 2017 India Two-Wheeler Initial Quality StudySM (2WIQS)

[2]All problems are summarized as the number of problems per 100 vehicles (PP100). Lower PP100 scores indicate a lower rate of problem incidence and therefore higher initial quality.