The Indian two-wheeler industry, which makes up for around 80 percent of the overall automotive sales in the country, is witnessing customers see an increase in initial quality problems, says a survey by global consulting firm J.D. Power. According to JD Power, the instances of initial quality problems are 40 percent higher (an increase of 45 problems per 100 vehicles, or PP100) among owners who reported having travelled more than 3,500km on their newly purchased two-wheeler compared to owners who travelled 3,500km or less.
The J.D. Power 2019 India Two-Wheeler Initial Quality Study measured problems that owners experienced with their new two-wheelers during the first two to six months of ownership. The study based on evaluations from 8,905 owners who purchased a new two-wheeler vehicle between March 2018 and October 2018, includes 85 two-wheeler models from nine OEMs. The study was fielded from September 2018 to December 2018 in 45 cities across India.
It finds that the manufacturing/supplier quality-related problems are higher by 30 PP100 among owners who reported having travelled more than 3,500 kilometres as compared to owners who travelled less than 3,500 kilometres. This difference is less (13 PP100) when it comes to design-related problems. A lower PP100 score reflects better quality performance.
Rajat Agarwal, Two-Wheeler Industry Expert at J.D. Power, said, “Deteriorating product quality can detract from customer satisfaction and confidence in the two-wheeler model across the entire ownership period. As the industry will soon be going through a paradigm shift in technology in order to meet the BS-VI emission norms as set by the government, OEMs can also focus on addressing concerns around sustained product quality to gain from improved word-of-mouth recommendations.”
KEY FINDINGS OF THE 2019 STUDY
- Design quality improvement lags manufacturing quality: While problems related to manufacturing quality have declined by 29 PP100 between 2015 and 2019, the problems related to two-wheeler design have only declined by 12 PP100 in the same period.
- Younger customers experience more initial quality problems: Almost one-third (32%) of recent two-wheeler buyers are 25 years of age or younger. These buyers cite a higher number of problems than those in the mature age group of 31 years of age or older (132 PP100 vs 125 PP100, respectively). The difference is largely influenced by problems experienced in the brake category.
- Increasing internet usage elevates instances of shopping around before final purchase: Internet usage as a pre-shopping tool has increased to 20 percent in 2019 from 16 percent in 2018. Cross-shopping rates among buyers who used the internet as a pre-shopping tool were more than two times higher than among those who did not (31% vs 13%, respectively).
- Overall two-wheeler quality influences advocacy: Owners who experience fewer problems than expected are more than two times more likely to recommend their two-wheeler model to family and friends, compared with those owners who experience more problems than expected (63% vs 25%, respectively).
According to JD Power’s two-wheeler initial quality study, the award recipients in the scooter (executive and upper executive) segment and the motorcycle (economy, executive, upper executive and premium) include –
Honda Activa-i ranks highest in the executive scooter segment with 86 PP100.
Suzuki Access 125 ranks highest in the upper executive scooter segment with 94 PP100.
Hero HF Deluxe/ Eco/ i3S ranks highest in the economy motorcycle segment with 104 PP100.
Honda CB Shine ranks highest in the executive motorcycle segment with 115 PP100.
Yamaha FZ/ FZS ranks highest in the upper executive motorcycle segment with 108 PP100.
Yamaha YZF R15 ranks highest in the premium motorcycle segment with 86 PP100.