TOKYO (Oct. 16, 2012)—Bridgestone Corp. ranks highest in customer satisfaction with original equipment tires in two segments; and Michelin and Yokohama each rank highest in one segment, according to a new survey of Asian consumers from J D Power.
The J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2012 Japan Original Equipment Tire Customer Satisfaction Study, now in its 11th year, measures customer satisfaction with original equipment tires based on four factors: handling/traction; ride/quietness; durability/reliability; and appearance.
The study finds that tire brand images have often not caught up with customer expectations with regard to fuel efficiency, ride and quietness.
For example, while overall fuel economy ratings attributed to OE tires has increased for three consecutive years, satisfaction with the fuel economy attribute are particularly low in the minivan, SUV and passenger car segments.
Although 52 percent of owners consider fuel economy important when purchasing replacement tires, even the highest-rated brand for this area gets high ratings for fuel efficiency from only 24 percent of its owners. Satisfaction scores are also particularly low for the ride/quietness factor in the mini-car segment and compact car segments.
The study finds that when purchasing replacement tires, 40 percent of owners cite performance as an important consideration, rather than price. These owners pay, on average, 39 percent more for their replacement tires than other owners.
“For tire makers, original equipment tires are a key point of contact with vehicle owners,” said Taku Kimoto, executive director of the automotive division at J.D. Power Asia Pacific, Tokyo. “A wide gap exists between customer expectations for replacement tire fuel efficiency, ride and quietness and their perception of their OE tires.”
The study finds that satisfaction with OE tires has a direct impact on owners' intentions to repurchase the same brand of tires. Among owners who are highly satisfied (overall satisfaction scores in the top 25 percent), 82 percent indicate that they "definitely will" or "probably will" repurchase their current brand of OE tires. Repurchase intention declines to 68 percent among owners who are somewhat less satisfied (overall satisfaction scores in the next 25 percent).
In the mini-car segment: Bridgestone ranks highest for a third consecutive year, followed by Yokohama. Bridgestone performs well in all four factors.
In the compact car segment: Bridgestone ranks highest for a sixth consecutive year, and Yokohama ranks second. Bridgestone performs particularly well in the handling/traction, ride/quietness, and appearance factors.
In the passenger car segment: Michelin ranks highest for an eighth consecutive year, followed by Continental and Bridgestone, respectively. Michelin performs particularly well in the ride/quietness and durability/reliability factors.
In the minivan segment: Yokohama ranks highest, while Bridgestone ranks second. Yokohama performs particularly well in the handling/traction, ride/quietness, and appearance factors.