Monday, January 21, 2008

J.D Power - Results of South Africa Automotive Customer Satisfaction Index Study

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, January 21, 2008; Honda and Toyota models capture four segment awards each, earning more awards than any other manufacturer, according to the J.D. Power and Associates/CAR Magazine 2007 South Africa Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) Study(SM) released today.

Honda models receiving awards include the Civic, CR-V, FR-V and Jazz. Toyota models ranking highest in their respective segments are the Avensis, Hilux, Land Cruiser Prado and Tazz. Also receiving awards are the BMW X5, Fiat Panda and Opel Corsa Utility.

Now in its fourth year, the independent CSI study is a comprehensive measurement of customer satisfaction after 10 to 21 months of ownership that covers 77 attributes grouped in four factors (the importance of each factor is shown as a percentage): vehicle quality and reliability (32%); vehicle appeal (29%)-- which includes performance, design, comfort, styling and features; dealership service satisfaction (19%); and cost of ownership (20%)-- which includes fuel consumption, insurance and cost of service/repair. Importance weights are based on survey responses from vehicle owners, thus reflecting what is more important to motorists in South Africa. CSI performance is reported as an index score based on a 1,000-point scale, with a higher CSI score indicating a more satisfying ownership experience.

At the brand level, Honda ranks highest in the South Africa market for a second consecutive year, improving by 9 index points since 2006. Mercedes-Benz improves by 21 index points -- more than any other top-five ranked nameplate -- to follow Honda in the nameplate rankings. Rounding out the top five nameplates are Audi, BMW and Volvo, respectively. In addition, Honda performs particularly well in the areas of quality/reliability and Service satisfaction, while Mercedes-Benz performs well in vehicle appeal and Audi performs particularly well in ownership costs.

"Honda and Toyota models continue their strong performance in satisfying customers in South Africa," said Brian Walters, vice president of J.D. Power and Associates Europe, Middle East and Africa operations. "In both 2006 and 2007, four Toyota models ranked highest in their respective segments, while Honda has led in nameplate rankings in both years. These results are a testament to the commitment to high quality that both brands demonstrate. In addition, Mercedes-Benz maintains its ranking in the top five for a second consecutive year and improves in an impressive manner since 2006."

Overall satisfaction continues to improve steadily in the South Africa market and reaches a record-high level for a second consecutive year. Improving by 5 points since 2006, overall customer satisfaction averages 795 in the 2007 study.

"The consistent improvement in overall satisfaction in the South Africa market is good news for consumers, franchised dealers and manufacturers," said Walters. "However, there is still significant room for improvement. While customers seem to be more satisfied with vehicle quality and reliability as well as vehicle appeal, service satisfaction and ownership cost satisfaction levels are not on par."

"We are pleased to publish the latest independent J.D. Power and Associates South Africa CSI research findings, covering the overall vehicle ownership experience," said John Bentley, editor of CAR Magazine. "These findings provide our readers with quantified information from current owners, further assisting them with their vehicle purchase decisions."

In addition to South Africa, the CSI study is currently conducted in 15 other markets: Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States.

J.D. Power and Associates is recognized across the globe as the leading independent authority on customer satisfaction in the automotive industry. The firm's primary role is to help automotive manufacturers further improve their product quality and service levels through a better understanding of consumer behaviour and preferences. J.D. Power and Associates also provides topline results of its automotive studies to consumers for use as a reference point when purchasing a new vehicle.

The 2007 South Africa Customer Satisfaction Index Study is based on a representative sample of more than 8,700 new-vehicle owners who registered their vehicles between October 2005 and September 2006. The study was funded by J.D. Power and Associates as part of its global research programs in cooperation with the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC), and includes a section of questions to assist the Corporation and the Department of Transport (DOT) in measuring the performance of its vehicle and drivers licensing program.

CSI Nameplate Index Ranking
(Based on a 1,000-point scale)
Honda 873
Mercedes-Benz 856
Audi 852
BMW 832
Volvo 827
Toyota 824
Daihatsu 808
Hyundai 806
Chevrolet 801
Land Rover 801
Industry Average 795
Renault 791
Mazda 790
Peugeot 788
Opel 787
Ford 786
Mitsubishi 781
Volkswagen 772
Kia 771
Citroen 764
Nissan 762
Fiat 753
Jeep 752
Tata 633

Included in the study, but not ranked due to small sample size are: Alfa
Romeo, Chrysler, Isuzu, Jaguar, Lexus, MINI and SsangYong.

Top Models per Segment in CSI
(Based on a 1,000-point scale)

Lower Compact Car
Fiat Panda 826
Ford Ka 809
Kia Picanto 804

Upper Compact Car
Toyota Tazz 773

Lower Small Car
Honda Jazz 876
Toyota Yaris 855
Hyundai Getz 837

Upper Small Car
Honda Civic (new) 886
Mercedes-Benz A-Class 859
Toyota Corolla 837

Medium Car
Toyota Avensis 870
Toyota Camry 867
Audi A4 863

Compact MPV
Honda FR-V 860
Toyota Corolla Verso 838
Volkswagen Touran 825

Compact SUV
Honda CR-V 859
Kia Sportage 813

Medium SUV
Toyota Land Cruiser Prado 856
BMW X3 854
Mitsubishi Pajero 835

Luxury SUV
BMW X5 863
Mercedes-Benz ML-Class 848
Land Rover Discovery3 844

Compact Pickup
Opel Corsa Utility 788
Ford Bantam 773
Fiat Strada (tie) 772
Nissan 1400 (tie) 772

One-Ton Pickup
Toyota Hilux 805
Nissan Navara 801
Isuzu KB 779

Customer Satisfaction Index Component Weights
Vehicle Quality and Reliability: 32%
Problems experienced with the vehicle since

Vehicle Appeal: 29%
Satisfaction with the vehicle's performance,
design, function and styling

Ownership Costs: 20%
-- Fuel consumption
-- Insurance
-- Cost of service/repairs

Service Satisfaction: 19%
-- Service initiation
-- Service adviser
-- Dealership facility
-- Vehicle pick-up
-- Service quality
About J.D. Power and Associates

Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is an ISO 9001-registered global marketing information services firm operating in key business sectors including market research, forecasting, performance improvement, training and customer satisfaction. The firm's quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. For more information on car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.


CAR magazine is read by an average of 915000 people each month. CAR magazine also publishes The results of the J.D. Power and Associates/CAR Magazine 2007 South Africa Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) Study(SM) are published exclusively in the February 2008 issue of CAR, on newsstands Monday, 21 January 2008.

About The McGraw-Hill Companies

Founded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies is a leading global information services provider meeting worldwide needs in the financial services, education and business information markets through leading brands such as Standard & Poor's, McGraw-Hill Education, BusinessWeek and J.D. Power and Associates. The Corporation has more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Sales in 2006 were US$6.3 billion. Additional information is available at