Maruti, Honda and Toyota cars rank highest in J.D. Power’s 2008 India APEAL Study

Maruti cars rank highest in the 2008 India APEAL study…

Four Maruti Suzuki cars, as well as cars from Honda and Toyota, each rank highest in their respective segments in new-vehicle design and performance in India, according to the J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2008 India Automotive Performance Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study released today.

Now in its tenth year, the APEAL study provides an analysis of what excites and delights owners about their new vehicle’s performance and design during the initial two to six months of ownership. The study examines nearly 100 attributes covering 10 vehicle factors: vehicle exterior; vehicle interior; storage and space; audio / entertainment / navigation; seats; heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC); driving dynamics; engine / transmission; visibility and driving safety; and fuel economy.

Four Maruti Suzuki models – the Swift, Swift DZire, SX4 and Wagon R – each receive awards in their respective segments. In the entry midsize segment, the newly launched Swift DZire ranks highest with a score of 802 points on a 1,000-point scale. The Swift and SX4 each rank highest for a second consecutive year in the premium compact and midsize segments, respectively. In particular, satisfaction with fuel economy has improved considerably for the Swift from 2007, largely due to the launch of the new Swift Diesel.

Two Honda models – the Civic and the CR-V – rank highest in their respective segments. The Civic ranks highest in the premium midsize segment, with a score of 821, while the CR-V ranks highest for a second consecutive year in the SUV segment and also posts the highest APEAL score in the industry in 2008.

In the MUV / MPV segment, the Toyota Innova ranks highest for a second consecutive year, with a score of 814 and performs particularly well in all 10 factors.

The overall industry APEAL score in India averages 787 in 2008, marking a slight 3-point increase from 2007. Among nameplates, Hyundai posts the greatest improvement from 2007, primarily in the HVAC factor. Overall, the industry improves in seven of ten factors, with the largest improvement occurring in audio / entertainment / navigation.

The study also finds that customers who are particularly delighted with the design and performance of their vehicles are more willing to recommend and repurchase their existing make and model than customers who are less satisfied.

More than 84 percent of customers who say they are “delighted” with their vehicle report that they “would definitely” would recommend and repurchase their existing make and model. Rates of recommendation and repurchase intent decline to 27 percent and 19 percent, respectively, for those customers who say they are “disappointed” with their vehicle’s appeal.

The 2008 India APEAL study is based on responses from more than 6,000 owners who purchased a new vehicle between November 2007 and July 2008. Owners were interviewed between May and September 2008 in 20 major cities throughout India. More details on the J.D. Power official website here

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