Mazda ranks highest in satisfying new-vehicle owners in Australia for a second consecutive year, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2009 Australia Vehicle Ownership Satisfaction StudySMreleased today.
Now in its second year, the study measures new-vehicle satisfaction in Australia during the first 36 months of ownership. Overall satisfaction is determined by measuring customer experiences in four areas: vehicle quality and reliability; vehicle appeal (satisfaction with the design, style, performance and comfort of the vehicle); dealership service; and ownership costs.
Mazda ranks highest in ownership satisfaction with an overall index score of 782 on a 1,000-point scale, well above the industry average of 761. Honda follows Mazda in the rankings with a score of 779. Mazda performs particularly well in the quality and reliability and vehicle appeal factors, while Honda performs well in ownership costs and service.
“Mazda has a reputation in Australia for producing high-quality vehicles,” said Brian Fine, managing director of J.D. Power and Associates’ Australia and New Zealand operations. “Mazda’s strong performance, along with Honda’s ranking among the top two, indicates that Japanese automakers have done well in satisfying Australian new-vehicle owners.”
The study also finds that new-vehicle owners with higher levels of satisfaction are more likely to purchase the brand again and to recommend the brand to others. For example, satisfaction scores average 811 points among new-vehicle owners who say they “definitely will” recommend the brand to others, while satisfaction scores average only 614 points among new-vehicle owners who say they “probably will not” recommend the brand.
“Improving customer satisfaction can have a positive impact on both loyalty and advocacy, which ultimately benefit the bottom line,” said Fine. “By focusing on the key factors driving customer satisfaction, such as performance and style, manufacturers can considerably increase the likelihood that customers will purchase and recommend their vehicles.”
Overall quality declines slightly, with problems per 100 vehicles (PP100) increasing to 134 PP100 from 129 PP100 in 2008. Problems are summarized as the number of reported problems per 100 vehicles, with lower scores indicating fewer problem incidences and higher quality. Additionally, overall satisfaction among new-vehicle owners in Australia remains stable compared with 2008 (762 points).
The 2009 Australia Vehicle Ownership Satisfaction Study is based on responses from 3,051 new-vehicle owners during the first 36 months of ownership. The study was fielded in January 2009.