TOKYO (Jan. 18, 2012)—Internet shopping and tire labels are influencing the Japanese replacement tire market, according to the J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2011 Japan Replacement Tire Customer Satisfaction Index Study.
The study, now in its third year, measures customer satisfaction with replacement tires (excluding winter tires) in four segments: mini-car/compact car, passenger car, mini van, and SUV. Overall customer satisfaction with replacement tires is based on four factors: appearance, durability/reliability, handling/traction, and ride/quietness.
The study finds that the percentage of owners who rely on the Internet when selecting tires has increased by 10 percentage points during the past three years to an average of 38 percent in 2011. During the same period, the percentage of owners who rely on salesperson recommendations has decreased by 11 percentage points to 39 percent.
Owners most often rely on official websites of tire brands. On average, customers visit 3.5 tire brand websites. In addition, the study finds that the average amount spent for tires by owners who visit tire brand websites during the shopping process is 15 percent higher than the industry average.
Introduction of the Japan Automobile Tyre Manufacturers Association tire grading and labeling system for tire rolling resistance and wet grip performance in 2010 has contributed to wider availability of tire information for consumers.
Yokohama ranks highest in customer satisfaction with replacement tires in the mini-car/compact car segment, Michelin ranks highest in the passenger car segment, and Bridgestone ranks highest in the mini van segment. Michelin receives an award in the passenger car segment for a third consecutive year.