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Posts Tagged ‘J.D. Power and Associates’

Automotive Dependability Takes an Unexpected Tumble

JD Power study shows first decline in over 15 years.

by on Feb.12, 2014

J.D. Power's 2014 Vehicle Dependability Study showed a drop in reliability and quality for 2011 vehicles.

It has become something of an industry gospel: automotive quality and reliability has long been on a steady, upward climb. But that conventional wisdom took a hit with the release of a new study showing an unexpected decline in vehicle dependability for the first time in more than 15 years.

The setback is largely the result of problems with engines and transmissions, according to J.D. Power’s 2014 Vehicle Dependability Study, particularly with the smaller 4-cylinder engines that have grown increasingly popular with motorists hoping to improve their mileage.

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“Until this year, we have seen a continual improvement in vehicle dependability,” said David Sargent, vice president of global automotive at J.D. Power. “However, some of the changes that automakers implemented for the 2011 model year have led to a noticeable increase in problems reported.” (more…)

November Car Sales Show Moderate Upward Momentum

But some makers could slide well into the red.

by on Nov.25, 2013

November sales are expected to be up 4% compared with year-ago figures, but some makers are expected to see a slide in their monthly sales.

U.S. new car sales are expected to continue their upward trend for November, though preliminary figures suggest some makers could slide into the negative column as the rate of the industry’s recovery seems to be slowing from the torrid pace earlier this year.

New vehicle sales, on the whole are expected to be up about 4% for November, according to data crunched by J.D. Power and Associates and LMC Automotive.

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“Consumer demand for new vehicles remains strong,” said John Humphrey, senior vice president of the global automotive practice at J.D. Power. (more…)

Jaguar, Mini Buyers Happier than Other New Car Buyers

Two brands top 2013 J.D. Power Sales Satisfaction Survey.

by on Nov.15, 2013

According to J.D. Power, Jaguar buyers were the happiest with their purchase experience this year among luxury car buyers.

Jaguar and Mini buyers are happiest with their purchase experience, according to the results of J.D. Power’s 2013 U.S. Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study released today.

Jaguar ranked first among luxury buyers with a score of 740 points followed closely by Porsche (739) and Lexus (737).

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“This accolade demonstrates that our retailers continue to exceed customer expectations and are dedicated to delivering a great experience from the very beginning of the relationship,” said Jeff Curry, Brand Vice President, Jaguar North America, in a statement. (more…)

U.S. April Auto Sales Anemic at Best

While executives project optimism, the numbers are weak.

by on May.04, 2010

Click on chart to enlarge.

April new-vehicle retail sales tallied 982,000 units, or a seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) of just over 11 million units,” according to Autodata Corporation.  

This looked okay when compared with an admittedly bad April 2009, but the fact remains the auto economy remains weak,  and incentives are propping up the market and pulling ahead sales.  

It is too early to declare that the auto recession is over. The latest information from the AutoPacific consultancy shows the intent to purchase a new car or truck in the next two years has declined over the January to March period. So there is the first problem — demand does not appear to be strengthening.  

Rising fuel prices are also complicating the outlook. The median fuel price paid in March 2010 was $2.82 per gallon, up 13 cents from January 2010 but up 86 cents per gallon from March 2009. However, interest in small cars and hybrids has declined over the last year, according to AutoPacific.  

When asked what kind of vehicle respondents would select if they were to replace their primary vehicle today, 22% selected a Small Car in March 2009, but by January 2010 Small Car consideration had fallen to 12% and continued at that level in March 2010. During this time, the price of fuel went up by 44% but the interest in Small Cars went down by 44%. This is an unwelcome trend for Detroit automakers in particular who are about to introduce new small cars such as Ford Fiesta or Focus, or the Chevrolet Cruze, which will feature at least one 40 mpg model.  

Detailed charts follow after the jump.  


April U.S. Retail Auto Sales Projected at Slightly Up

Economy remains stuck in park; jobless recovery continues.

by on Apr.22, 2010

April new-vehicle retail sales are expected to come in at 804,200 units, which represents a seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) of 9.8 million units, according to J.D. Power and Associates.


U.S. Sales and SAAR Comparisons, April 2010

April 2010 March 2010 April 2009
New retail 804,200 units (+22% April 2009) 849,735 units 659,458 units
Total vehicle 1,008,800 units (+23% April 2009) 1,063,987 units 819,126 units
Retail SAAR 9.8 million units 9.6 million units 8.0 million units
Total SAAR 11.5 million units 11.7 million units 9.2 million units
J.D. Power and Associates. Figures for April 2010 are forecast based on the first 15 selling days of the month.


When compared with an admittedly bad April 2009, retail sales are projected to increase by 22% in April 2010, and the selling rate is expected to increase by 1.8 million units.

Retail transactions are the most accurate measurement of true underlying consumer demand for new vehicles, according to Power, which gathers real-time transaction data from more than 8,900 retail franchises in the United States.


China to Maintain Number One Auto Market Spot

Five-year outlook predicts 55% growth, as U.S. languishes.

by on Apr.22, 2010

China claimed the global sales crown for 2009 and will likely retains it for years, if not forever.

Sales of passenger vehicles in China  are expected to increase from 8.7 million units in 2009 to 13.55 million units in 2015. This increase in sales of passenger cars, SUVs and minivans of more than 55% does not include the sale of millions of light commercial vehicles annually.

If the forecast by J.D. Power and Associates holds true, China will easily remain the world’s largest auto market during the decade to come.

Last year China surpassed the U.S. as the world’s largest auto market as a result of targeted government incentives and aggressive bank lending, which lasted all year, while U.S. politicians wrangled for six  months over what was a short lived but effect Cash for Clunkers program.

Worse, U.S. banks stopped lending to consumers, even as taxpayers poured billions of dollars into them. Most U.S. market forecasts see it languishing in the 12-13 million unit range for the next five years. (See Chinese Auto Market Grows to 40 Million Annually? )

Automakers have recorded substantial profits during  the past few years in China, whose industrial policy requires joint ventures and substantial investment  by western automakers. Moreover, the Communist party controls the hiring in joint venture plants, thereby ensuring the loyalty of workers.

It is the stated policy of the Chinese government to consolidate the auto sector around Chinese companies, while diminishing the role of western automakers’ once they have learned all they can from them.

Thus far the clearest evidence of the plan is state owned SAIC taking 51% controlling interest of Shanghai GM late last year by forcing a cash-starved GM to sell 1% if its 50% share. (See SAIC Takes Controlling Interest of GM Joint Venture)


March New Vehicle Retail Sales on Rebound

Both retail and fleet sales are projected to improve from February. Incentive war looming because of Toyota?

by on Mar.19, 2010

U.S. Retail SAAR from January 2009 to March 2010, in millions of units.

New-vehicle buyers are returning to dealer showrooms so far in March, lured by huge incentives, after Toyota recall news and bad weather kept them away in February.

March new-vehicle retail sales are projected to increase by 25%, compared with the same period one year ago, according to J.D. Power and Associates, based on transaction data from more than 8,900 dealers.

Retail transactions are the most accurate measurement of true underlying consumer demand for new vehicles, according to Power.

Most manufacturers’ retail sales are up so far in March, with Toyota, Ford and VW leading the major makers.  Toyota appears to be rebounding – in both sales and market share – to its late 2009 levels.

March new-vehicle retail sales are expected to come in at 883,300 units, which represent a seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) of 9.9 million units. This reflects a retail SAAR increase of nearly 2 million units, compared with February 2010. Compared with March 2009, retail sales are projected to increase by 2.3 million units.

“New-vehicle retail sales increased robustly during the first half of March, and are expected to remain strong throughout the remainder of the month—setting the industry recovery back on track,” said Jeff Schuster, executive director of global forecasting at J.D. Power and Associates.

“March sales could outperform projections if the pace does not level off as expected for the remainder of the month. However, there is some risk that the incentives offered by Toyota could spark an incentive war among several automakers. While this may lead to a temporary increase in sales momentum, it could also potentially slow the pace of long-term recovery.”   (more…)

February New-Vehicle Sales to Increase Slightly

Winter blues, as sales languish in face of recalls and storms.

by on Feb.25, 2010

February new-vehicle retail sales are expected to increase marginally compared with February 2009, according to the latest Power forecast.

February retail sales are now projected to come in at 561,500 units, which means a seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) of 8 million units, compared with 7.9 million units in February 2009. Fleet sales continue to rebound from the lower levels experienced one year ago. As a result, total sales for February 2010 are projected to come in at 741,500 units, up 8% from February 2009.


U.S. Sales and SAAR Comparisons – February 2010
February 2010 January 2010 February 2009
New retail sales 561,500 units (+1% Feb 09) 514,633 units 556,689 units
Total vehicle sales 741,500 units (+8% Feb 09) 697,368 units 688,244 units
Retail SAAR 8.0 million units 8.1 million units 7.9 million units
Total SAAR 9.9 million units 10.7 million units 9.1 million units
Courtesy of J.D. Power and Associates. February 2010 numbers based on the first 17 selling days.


Why Buyers Reject Some Automotive Brands

Styling, price, perceived reliability and health lead the list.

by on Dec.15, 2009


Future of the brand is the fourth most cited reason for avoiding a particular model.

Nearly one in five new-vehicle buyers who avoid a particular vehicle model cite their concern over the future of the brand as a reason for avoidance, according to the latest J.D. Power and Associates 2009 Avoider Study released today.

The study has negative implications for General Motors Company and Chrysler Group brands as the reorganized companies try to put bankruptcy behind them and promote new cars and light trucks in what remains a gridlocked marketplace.

While the top three avoidance reasons in 2009—styling, price and perceived reliability—remain unchanged from 2008, concern over the future of the brand is the fourth-most-frequently mentioned reason for avoiding a particular model. Included in the study for the first time, this reason was mentioned by 18% of what Power terms avoiders.

The study, now in its seventh year, examines the reasons consumers fail to consider or avoid particular models when shopping for new vehicles.

Among brands that were avoided due to concerns over their future viability, the top five are domestic brands:

  • Chrysler
  • Dodge
  • Hummer
  • Pontiac and Saturn

In the case of the latter two, consumers proved prescient.

At the time of the study this past summer, GM had announced that Hummer, Pontiac and Saturn would not be part of “New GM,” although buyers were being sought for the brands.

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Since then, only Hummer appears to have a chance of surviving, as Pontiac has already built its last car. A deal for the purchase of Saturn by the Penske Automotive group fell apart at the last moment when the Renault Board of Directors rejected a Carlos Ghosn-backed plan to supply Saturn with Korean-built vehicles.


Mercedes-Benz Ranks Highest in Owner Retention

Resale value, vehicle quality increase as reasons for loyalty.

by on Dec.10, 2009

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Resale value and vehicle quality have become increasingly important reasons for new-vehicle buyers to remain loyal to an automotive brand, according to the J.D. Power and Associates.

In its latest Customer Retention Study just made public, resale value as a reason for loyalty has increased by 12 percentage points in 2009, compared with 2008.

The importance of vehicle quality has increased by 6 percentage points. In comparison, in 2008, the reasons with the largest increases in importance for staying loyal to a brand were safety, fuel economy and deals/incentives.

The study measures the percentage of vehicle owners and lessees who replace a previously purchased new vehicle with another from the same brand.

If you just look at the industry average of less than 50%, it means that the average car brand has to find more than half of its sales from new people, an  enormously expensive marketing challenge.

“Although there are some signs of economic recovery, the outlook remains uncertain, so for many new-vehicle buyers, high resale value and quality are particularly important considerations that are driving purchase behavior,” said Raffi Festekjian, director of automotive product research at J.D. Power and Associates.

Mercedes-Benz ranks highest among automotive brands in retaining vehicle owners when they buy a new-vehicle, and improves its retention rate by 8 percentage points from 2008 to 67% in 2009. Following in the rankings are Honda (64%) and Toyota (61%).