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Inaugural NZ Vehicle Ownership Satisfaction Study

Inaugural NZ Vehicle Ownership Satisfaction Study Reveals Honda Ranks Highest in Satisfying New-Vehicle Owners

and

Mercedes-Benz Ranks Highest in Satisfying Owners of Used Vehicles

Honda ranks highest in satisfying New Zealand vehicle owners who purchased their vehicles new, according to the J.D. Power Australia 2004 New Zealand Vehicle Ownership Satisfaction StudySM released today.

The inaugural study, conducted in association with the New Zealand Automobile Association Inc., is based on interviews with 2,835 owners of vehicles purchased new and 11,279 owners of used vehicles, and presents for the first time an objective measure of vehicle ownership satisfaction in New Zealand for automotive manufacturers and consumers.

Overall owner satisfaction is based on owners' experiences with their vehicles in four areas: vehicle quality and reliability; vehicle appeal (which measures satisfaction with the design, style, performance and comfort of the vehicle); service and ownership costs.

Among vehicles purchased new, Honda ranks highest overall, performing particularly well in the areas of vehicle quality and reliability, service, and ownership costs. Peugeot follows Honda in the rankings, performing particularly well in vehicle appeal.

The industry average score for overall vehicle ownership satisfaction among vehicles purchased new is 741 out of a maximum 1,000 index points. Following Honda and Peugeot in the rankings above the industry average are Mazda, Toyota, Subaru and Hyundai, respectively.

Levels of satisfaction with vehicle quality and reliability among new-vehicle owners, with an overall index score of 839, tend to be higher than for the other three areas measured, on average. This is significantly higher than the ratings given for vehicle appeal (740), service (740) and cost of ownership (613). Overall, owners of vehicles purchased new report an average of 2.29 problems per vehicle.

Among vehicles purchased used, the industry average score for overall vehicle ownership satisfaction is 701 out of a maximum 1,000 index points. Mercedes-Benz ranks highest overall, followed by BMW. Audi, Toyota, Isuzu, Peugeot, Honda, Hyundai and Holden, respectively, perform above the industry average and follow Mercedes-Benz and BMW in the rankings.

"J.D. Power automotive customer satisfaction measurements conducted globally have shown that satisfaction has a very powerful and direct impact on both brand loyalty and advocacy," said Brian Fine, managing director of J.D. Power Australia.

"Automotive manufacturers cannot afford to ignore how customers view the vehicles they buy and expect to remain competitive."

The 2004 New Zealand Vehicle Ownership Satisfaction Study serves as a benchmark in measuring customer attitudes and expectations in the market. A total of 14,114 vehicle owners from among New Zealand Automobile Association members were surveyed online and were asked to evaluate their ownership experiences.

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