Owners in the UK Look First for Quality, Comfort and Safety When Selecting a Vehicle
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Volkswagen Receives Four Segment-Level Awards; Jaguar and Lexus Tie as Highest-Ranked Manufacturers
MUNICH: 28 May 2014 — Owners of both volume and premium vehicles in the United Kingdom indicate that reliability/durability, interior comfort and safety are among the most important factors in their choice of vehicle make and model, according to the J.D. Power 2014 UK Vehicle Ownership Satisfaction StudySM (VOSS) released today.
The study examines satisfaction with the vehicle ownership experience among owners of 1- to 3-year-old vehicles. Overall satisfaction is based on evaluations of four key measures that comprise the ownership experience (in order of importance): vehicle appeal (31%), which includes performance, design, comfort and features; ownership costs (25%), which includes fuel consumption, insurance and costs of service/repair; vehicle quality and reliability (22%); and service satisfaction (22%).
In addition to citing quality, comfort and safety as important factors influencing their choice of vehicle, owners of volume vehicles indicate fuel consumption and low maintenance costs as important to their choice. The majority of premium vehicle owners cite quality of workmanship and performance among the most important factors determining their vehicle choice. Factors with the least influence on volume owners’ choice of vehicle include high resale value, environmental impact and advanced vehicle technology, while environmental impact and AWD/four-wheel drive capability have little influence on premium vehicle owners.
“Given the size and importance of the UK market, which is among the 10 largest in the world, it’s vital for automakers to understand the most important factors driving vehicle shoppers’ choice of make and model,” said Dr. Axel Sprenger, senior director of European automotive operations at J.D. Power. “A lot of time and money is spent to develop, produce and sell vehicles. In this very competitive market, automakers increasingly must focus on the features that make vehicles most appealing to consumers.”
Overall vehicle ownership satisfaction in the UK averages 772 on a 1,000-point scale in 2014, down from 776 in 2013.
Jaguar and Lexus rank highest in a tie in satisfaction with a score of 808 each. This is the third consecutive year Jaguar has ranked highest and the 11th time in 13 years Lexus has ranked highest. Following Jaguar and Lexus in the rankings are Mercedes-Benz (801), Škoda (800) and Volkswagen (791).
Volkswagen receives four of the nine segment-level awards, with the Golf Plus, Scirocco, Touran and Up! models each receiving an award in their respective segment. Up! ranks highest in the City Car segment with a score of 851, the highest score among all models in the study. The Up! performs well across all four factors, with particularly strong scores for quality and service.
Other models ranking highest in their respective segments are the Citroën DS3; Kia Venga; Mercedes-Benz C-Class; Škoda Yeti; and Volvo V70/XC70.
- The percentage of owners who use the Internet to shop for their vehicle increases to 76 percent in 2014, up from 73 percent in 2013.
- The devices used to shop for new vehicles online have changed notably in 2014. The majority (94%) of shoppers using the Internet to shop for a vehicle continue to use traditional desktop and laptop computers, although the percentage has declined slightly from 96 percent in 2013. The use of tablets has increased to 27 percent in 2014 from 16 percent in 2013, while smartphones usage has jumped to 23 percent from 18 percent. As a result, the use of apps during the shopping process has increased to 17 percent in 2014 from 10 percent in 2013.
- Owners of 1- to 3-year-old vehicles take their vehicle for service an average of 3.1 times per year, down from 3.3 times per year in the 2013 study. Authorized dealers capture only 58 percent of these visits, or 1.8 visits per year. When vehicle owners have their vehicle serviced at a dealer, 26 percent do so at a dealer other than the one from which they purchased their vehicle.
- Service satisfaction has a significant impact on customer loyalty. Among customers who are highly satisfied (900 points and above) with the service experience at a dealership, 81 percent are likely to return to that same dealership for paid service. Loyalty drops to 58 percent among satisfied customers (800-899 points).
- The top problems owners experience with their vehicle that have the greatest impact on satisfaction are also the two most frequently reported problems and are both related to the HVAC system: windows fog up a lot/don’t clear as wanted and heater doesn’t get hot quickly enough.
The 2014 UK Vehicle Ownership Satisfaction Study is based on 15,562 online evaluations by vehicle owners in the UK after an average of two years of ownership. The study was fielded January through March 2014. This annual J.D. Power study provides consumers with reliable and accurate information regarding many vehicle models, and helps manufacturers provide highly satisfying experiences to their customers. Additional study results are published exclusively in the July issue of What Car?, which goes on sale May 29, 2014.
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