Sucheta Dalal :Tata Motors customers least satisfied says JD Power survey
Sucheta Dalal

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Tata Motors customers least satisfied says JD Power survey  

August 27, 2009


Car buyers in India have ranked Maruti Suzuki as their top choice in terms of new vehicle purchase experience, while relegating home-grown Tata Motors to the least favoured slot, a new survey said Thursday. Overall car buyers are more satisfied with new vehicles compared with last year.
Maruti is closely followed by Honda and Toyota, both at the second slot, on the customer satisfaction scale. The survey ranked a total of 11 carmakers present in the country.
In the annual survey by automotive research and consultancy JD Power, which ranked the carmakers on the basis of points earned on a scale of 1,000 points, Maruti Suzuki scored 800 points, followed by Honda and Toyota with scores of 799 points each, against the industry average of 793 points, JD Power Asia Pacific said in a statement.
South Korean Hyundai Motor Corp's unit was ranked third (796 points), followed by Mahindra & Mahindra (796 points), Volkswagen unit Skoda (794 points), Ford (790 points), Fiat (789 points) Mahindra-Renault (786 points), Chevrolet (772 points) and Tata Motors (766 points).
The overall industry-wide customer satisfaction with new-vehicle sales experience increased considerably during the year as the industry average score rose by 26 points, JD Power said about its tenth annual survey. Hyundai recorded the greatest improvement among all the brands examined in the study.
A total of six -- Maruti, Honda, Toyota, Hyundai, Mahindra and Skoda -- scored better than the industry average, while Ford, Fiat, Mahindra-Renault, Chevrolet and Tata Motors fared worse than the average.
"It is encouraging to note the considerable improvements made by the industry in 2009, especially in the vehicle delivery process, salesperson and paperwork factors," JD Power Asia Pacific (Singapore) senior director Mohit Arora said.
JD Power's customer satisfaction index, in its 10th year now, measures the overall satisfaction with the new-vehicle buyer sales experience. The research firm determines customer satisfaction through seven measures -- delivery process; delivery timing; salesperson, sales initiation, dealer facility, paperwork and deal.
The study said proportion of first-time new-vehicle buyers has increased from 27% in 2004 to 40% in 2009.
The 2009 India Sales Satisfaction Index Study is based on responses from 5,422 new-vehicle owners who purchased their vehicles between September 2008 and April 2009. The study was fielded from March to June 2009.

-- Sucheta Dalal