J.D. Power and Associates Reports:
Avoidance Due to Concerns about Reliability Lessens for Many Domestic and Korean Brands
Redesigned Models from Cadillac, Ford and Kia Achieve Substantially Higher Consideration Rates
Than Their Predecessor Models
WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.: 14 December 2010 — While reliability concerns for some brands have increased from 2009, many domestic and Korean brands—including Ford, GMC, Hyundai, Kia and Ram—have been successful in improving customer perceptions of reliability in 2010, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2010 Avoider Study,SM which was released today. Other brands like Audi, Scion and Smart also improve notably in avoidance rates due to reliability perceptions. This marks the second consecutive year that Ford and Audi have been among the brands that have shown the most improvement in reliability perception in the industry.
The study, now in its eighth year, examines the reasons consumers fail to consider—or avoid—particular models when shopping for a new vehicle.
“Perceptions about reliability are slow to change, and some brands have a negative consumer perception that is at odds with reality,” said Kerri Wise, director of automotive research at J.D. Power and Associates. “However, brands are getting the word out about their actual reliability performance and are slowly but steadily changing perceptions.”
The 2010 study also finds a shift in importance among the top reasons for avoiding competitive models from 2009. Having a bad prior experience or having a poor perception of a manufacturer’s reputation has increased in importance from 2009, while concerns regarding the future of certain brands have lessened.
“Recent safety recalls have clearly caused some consumers to be hesitant in considering certain brands,” said Wise. “In contrast, consumer concerns about the staying power of some domestic brands have been alleviated—following a swift move through bankruptcy proceedings—and due to the beginnings of a recovery in the automotive market.”
The study finds that some redesigned models have much higher consideration rates than the previous-generation models they replaced. Among redesigned models, the Cadillac SRX, Ford Taurus and Kia Sorento have notably higher consideration rates, compared to their predecessors, as well as higher consideration rates than their respective segment averages.
“A new-model launch or redesign is a manufacturer’s best opportunity to change the perceptions of the past,” said Wise. “While most redesigned models have higher consideration than the previous-generation models, some models are far surpassing their predecessors, and in the process, are attracting many additional customers to the brand.”
Exterior styling is the most frequently mentioned reason for avoiding a model, which is cited by 35 percent of new-vehicle owners. Rounding out the top five reasons for avoiding a particular model are that the model costs too much; poor perceptions of reliability; dislike of interior styling; and bad reputation of the manufacturer.
Amongst premium brands, concerns over maintenance costs also play a major role. This is despite a number of premium brands providing free maintenance as a part of the initial purchase price.
The 2010 Avoider Study is based on responses from approximately 25,000 owners who registered a new vehicle in May 2010. The study was fielded between August and October 2010.
About J.D. Power and Associates
Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company operating in key business sectors including market research, forecasting, performance improvement, Web intelligence and customer satisfaction. The company’s quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. For more information on car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit JDPower.com. J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.
About The McGraw-Hill Companies
Founded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP) is a global information and education company providing knowledge, insights and analysis in the financial, education and business information sectors through leading brands including Standard & Poor’s, McGraw-Hill Education, Platts, and J.D. Power and Associates. The Corporation has more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Sales in 2009 were $5.95 billion. Additional information is available at http://www.mcgraw-hill.com/.