Among 217 problem areas assessed by new-vehicle owners, 59% of the total problems reported are related to design, according to the J.D. Power 2021 Thailand Initial Quality Study (IQS),SM released today.
Initial quality is measured by the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100) during the first month of ownership until six months, with a lower score reflecting higher quality. In this year’s study, the industry average stands at 147 PP100. Problems reported are shared more on design (87 PP100) than the manufacturing (58 PP100).
Although customers cite issues with excessive wind noise (from around the vehicle) in the defects and malfunctions category the most (10.4 PP100), the rest of the top five problems cited are related to design failure, namely poor radio reception (6.9 PP100); slow getting cold on the air conditioner (6.0 PP100); insufficient power plugs/USB charging ports (5.5 PP100); and poor ride quality (4.9 PP100).
“The quality and availability of basic features must be foremost when developing a new vehicle,” said Manenatta Jirasevijinda, regional lead of automotive in SEA AUS at NielsenIQ. “Customers have high expectations with all basic features such as availability of rear air conditioning and sufficiency of power plugs/USB charging ports. Vehicle quality is achieved not only from drivers but from passengers, too. Brands must make sure all basic features are fulfilled and suited with each vehicle segment.”
Following are additional key findings of the 2021 study:
- Features/controls/displays (FCD) category has most design problems: The FCD category has the most problems at 17.3 PP100. A key issue relates to power plugs/USB charging ports being insufficient (5.5 PP100) and too slow in charging (3.1 PP100). Customers also cite issues with front wipers not clearing as desired (1.5 PP100) and poor/ inadequate sound of horn (1.3 PP100).
- Small problems overlooked become top 20 problems: Issues related to floor mat (3.4 PP100), built-in Bluetooth® pairing/connectivity issues on mobile phone/device (2.8 PP100) and hard to open/close at the trunk/hatch/tailgate (2.1 PP100) are also notable.
- Younger owners cite more problems: Owners age 30 and younger have the highest number of problems at 166 PP100. Owners age 50 and older noted fewer problems at 153 PP100. The most problematic issue is on driving experience (26.3 PP100) related to poor ride quality (5.2 PP100) and noisy brakes (4.0 PP100) while older customers still indicated more problems with the exterior.
- Toyota Yaris ranks highest in the compact segment with 150 PP100.
- Mazda2 ranks highest in the entry midsize segment with 147 PP100.
- Mitsubishi Pajero Sport ranks highest in the large SUV segment with 132 PP100.
- Isuzu D-Max Hi-Lander X-Cab ranks highest in the pickup extended cab segment with 116 PP100.
- Toyota Hilux Revo D-Cab ranks highest in the pickup double cab segment with 116 PP100.
The study measures problems experienced in two distinct categories: design-related problems and defects and malfunctions. The study includes specific diagnostic questions covering eight problem categories: exterior; driving experience; features/controls/displays; seats; audio/communication/entertainment/navigation; heating/ventilation/air conditioning; interior; and engine/transmission.
The 2021 Thailand Initial Quality Study (IQS) is based on responses from 4,571 new-vehicle owners who purchased their vehicles from January through October 2021. The study covers 10 different brands that include 77 passenger cars, pickup trucks, and utility vehicle models. The study was fielded from July through November 2021.
J.D. Power is a global leader in consumer insights, advisory services, and data and analytics. A pioneer in the use of big data, artificial intelligence (AI) and algorithmic modeling capabilities to understand consumer behavior, J.D. Power has been delivering incisive industry intelligence on customer interactions with brands and products for more than 50 years. The world’s leading businesses across major industries rely on J.D. Power to guide their customer-facing strategies. J.D. Power has offices in North America, Europe, and the Asia Pacific.
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