MRF Tops J.D. Power India Customer Satisfaction Survey
A study into India’s tyre market reveals that MRF leads the field in terms of OE tyre customer satisfaction. The J.D. Power and Associates 2008 India Original Equipment Tire Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) Study, released April 22, shows that, from a field of five leading manufacturers, MRF ranks highest with an overall CSI score of 836 out of a possible 1,000.
The manufacturers’ products were evaluated by 3,381 new vehicle owners, following 12 to 18 months of ownership, in five key areas: appearance, durability, traction, ride quality and handling. The 2008 survey, the eighth conducted, was also the third consecutive occasion in which MRF has topped the customer satisfaction list. Close behind in second place was Apollo Tyres, who achieved an overall ranking of 816 points.
J.D. Power and Associates reports the study’s findings reveal a strong link between the ownership experience and intent to repurchase. Amongst customers reporting a high level of satisfaction with their tyres, nearly 80 per cent said they “definitely would” repurchase their original brand. The factors for which owners reported the highest levels of satisfaction were tyre appearance and ride quality at highway speeds.
Repurchase intent, however, drops by nearly 40 per cent among customers who are highly dissatisfied with their original tyre brand. For customers who say they “definitely would not” or “probably would not” repurchase their original brand, tyre noise is the most commonly cited reason for their decision.
“Consumers may not have much choice in which tyres come standard with their new vehicle, but they definitely have a choice when it comes time to replace those tyres,” said Mohit Arora, senior director at J.D. Power and Associates, Singapore. “Having a satisfying tyre ownership experience will certainly strengthen a customer’s decision to purchase the same brand that came on their vehicle. Hence, it is vital for manufacturers to increase product quality to achieve high levels of customer satisfaction in order to foster higher loyalty and advocacy levels.”
According to the results, almost 20 per cent of new vehicle owners report problems with their tyres, the most common of these being puncture damage, an issue reported by 65 per cent of these owners. It is thus unsurprising that the second most important consideration for owners when purchasing new tyres, behind brand name, is a tyre’s self-sealing qualities. “While puncture damage is typically beyond the control of manufacturers, and considering that self-sealing tyres have the second strongest impact on vehicle purchase, having this feature on their tyres may prove advantageous for manufacturers,” commented Arora.
The average score amongst the five manufacturers was 818. Individual scores are as follows: MRF 836, Apollo 816, JK Tyre 798, Bridgestone 795, Goodyear 783.