Yokohama receives satisfaction survey award
During April’s Auto Shanghai show, Yokohama Rubber held a ceremony to mark its strong performance in the "2012 China Original Equipment Tire Satisfaction Index Study" carried out by the research firm J. D. Power Asia Pacific. The study, which was released in November 2012, placed Yokohama on top of the 19 original equipment tyre brands tested in terms of overall customer satisfaction. At the ceremony in Shanghai, Geoff Broderick, vice-president and general manager of J. D. Power and Associates Asia-Pacific, presented a plaque to Koichi Tanaka, chairman and president of Yokohama Rubber (China) Co., Ltd.
The study was carried out between February and May 2012 and measured satisfaction among original equipment tyre owners during the first 12 to 24 months of ownership, rating satisfaction across four factors: appearance; durability; traction/handling; and ride. Out of a possible 1,000 points, Yokohama scored a total of 843 points and performed particularly well in the durability, traction/handling and ride factors. The average score was 801 points; other high scorers included Dunlop, in second place with 837 points and Bridgestone and Continental, who tied in third place with 833. Pirelli, Michelin, Goodyear and Maxxis also scored above the industry average.
According to J.D. Power, customer satisfaction with original equipment tyres greatly affects the choice of replacement brand. Among customers who were highly satisfied (856 points or higher), more than 36 per cent said they “definitely would” buy the same tyre brand for their replacement tyres, compared with 5.3 per cent of those whose satisfaction was low (683 points or less). Replacement rate with the same tyre brand is 26 per cent higher among customers who are pleased with their original tyres, compared with those who expressed disappointment.
Another issue raised by the study was the suitability of tyres for Chinese conditions. Dr. Mei Songlin, vice-president and managing director of J.D. Power China Operations, noted that most tyres in the Chinese market were originally designed overseas and imported to the country and urges that, in addition to improving tyre manufacturing quality, efforts be made to localise tyre design in view of the local road conditions in China.