Design and Function of Audio, Entertainment and Navigation Systems Have Biggest Effect on Vehicle Appeal, J.D. Power Finds

Automotive Press Releases Tuesday January 29, 2019 15:42
Bangkok--29 Jan--J.D. Power
Toyota Receives Two APEAL Awards; Mitsubishi, Honda, Mazda, Chevrolet and Ford Each Receive One Award

Audio, entertainment and navigation system (AENS), help make vehicles considerably more appealing to their owners and has the highest relative importance among all factors contributing to the overall performance and design of a new vehicle, according to the J.D. Power 2018 Thailand Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study,SM released today.

The study finds that the attributes under AENS which customers are least satisfied with are: attractiveness of audio and navigation display; ease of syncing external music devices; sound quality of calls when using Bluetooth(R) mobile phone connection; and look and feel of audio controls.

"As it is becoming increasingly important for customers to feel connected—whether through syncing their smartphones' music or navigation app with their car's audio system—it is crucial that the performance and design of these aspects function to the highest standard," said Siros Satrabhaya, Regional Director, Automotive Practice at J.D. Power. "Among all factors, customers are least satisfied with the ACEN of their vehicle which makes the need to address design, layout and execution pain-points even more pressing. Automotive OEMs and suppliers need to focus on these areas, especially if they want to exceed customer expectations."

The study also finds that overall satisfaction averages 846 points (on a 1,000-point scale) in 2018. Utility vehicle owners are the most satisfied with the vehicle appeal (855), followed by pickup owners (845) and passenger car owners (843).

The following are additional key findings of the 2018 study:
  • More quality problems reduce satisfaction with vehicle appeal: Customers who experienced no quality problems with the vehicle are more satisfied with overall vehicle appeal than those who experienced 3 problems or more (861 vs. 809, respectively).
  • Storage and space design aspects require improvement: Satisfaction with rear cup holders, center console storage and glove boxes as well as the space for passengers in the second-row seat (head, leg and foot room) are among the lowest-rated APEAL index model attributes.
  • First-time new-vehicle owners are less satisfied: Buyers purchasing their first vehicle report a lower APEAL score than repeat buyers (842 vs 852, respectively).
  • Good design and execution enhance likelihood to promote brand: The Net Promoter Score(R) (NPS) measures customers' likelihood to recommend both their vehicle make and model on a 0-10 scale. The NPS overall score in this year's study is 52. Promoters (new-vehicle owners who provide a rating of 9-10 points on the likelihood that they will recommend the vehicle brand) reported an APEAL score of 879 points, compared with 724 points reported by detractors (those who provide a rating of 0-6 points on their likelihood to recommend the brand).
Study Rankings
  • Mitsubishi Mirage ranks highest in the compact segment with an APEAL score of 849.
  • Honda Jazz ranks highest in the entry midsize segment with an APEAL score of 846.
  • Mazda3 ranks highest in the midsize segment with an APEAL score of 852.
  • Toyota Fortuner ranks highest in the large SUV segment with an APEAL score of 865.
  • Chevrolet Colorado X-Cab and Toyota Hilux Revo Prerunner Smart Cab rank highest in the pickup extended cab segment an APEAL score of 850.
  • Ford Ranger Hi-Rider D-Cab ranks highest in the pickup double cab segment an APEAL score of 859.

The study measures what factors satisfy owners in Thailand regarding their new vehicle's performance and design during the first two to six months of ownership. The study examines 79 attributes in 10 vehicle categories: exterior; interior; storage and space; audio/ communication/ entertainment/ navigation; seats; heating, ventilation and air conditioning; driving dynamics; engine/ transmission; visibility and driving safety; and fuel economy.

The 2018 Thailand APEAL Study is based on responses from 5,106 new-vehicle owners who purchased their vehicle from September 2017 through September 2018. The study covers 13 different brands that include 74 passenger car, pickup truck and utility vehicle models. The study was fielded from March through November 2018.

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