Results of the 2019 J.D. Power India Two-Wheeler Initial Quality Study are out. A dependable source of information, it has found that instances of initial quality problems are 40% higher (an increase of 45 problems per 100 vehicles) among owners who reported having travelled more than 3,500 kilometres on their newly purchased two-wheeler. This is compared to owners who travelled 3,500 kilometres or less. The study also finds that manufacturing/ supplier quality-related problems are higher by (30 Problems Per 100 vehicles) among owners who reported similar usage. Whereas this difference is less (13 PP100) when it comes to design-related problems. A lower PP100 score reflects better quality performance, where ‘PP100’ stands for problems per 100 vehicles.
The 2019 India Two-Wheeler Initial Quality Study (2WIQS) is based on evaluations from 8,905 owners who purchased a new two-wheeler vehicle between March 2018 and October 2018. The study includes 85 two-wheeler models from nine makes. It was fielded from September 2018 to December 2018 in 45 cities across India and measures problems owners experienced with their new two-wheeler during the first two to six months of ownership.
It examines 147 problem symptoms in seven categories (listed in order of frequency of reported problems): engine; brakes; fit and finish; lights/ electricals; ride and handling; transmission; and gauges and controls. The study now also includes the Net Promoter Score (NPS), which measures new-vehicle owners’ likelihood to recommend their vehicle brand on a 0-10 point scale.
Some of the key findings of the study are as follows:
- Design quality improvement lags manufacturing quality: While problems related to manufacturing quality have declined by 29 PP100 between 2015 and 2019, problems related to two-wheeler design have only declined by 12 PP100 in the same period.
- Younger two-wheeler buyers experience more initial quality problems: Almost one-third (32%) of recent two-wheeler buyers are 25 years of age or younger. These buyers cite a higher number of problems than those in the mature age group of 31 years of age or older (132 PP100 vs. 125 PP100, respectively). The difference is largely influenced by problems experienced in the brake category.
- Increasing internet usage elevates instances of shopping around before final purchase: Internet usage as a pre-shopping tool has increased to 20% in 2019 from 16% in 2018. Cross-shopping rates among buyers who used the internet as a pre-shopping tool were more than two times higher than among those who did not (31% vs. 13%, respectively).
- Overall two-wheeler quality influences advocacy: Owners who experience fewer problems than expected are more than two times more likely to recommend their two-wheeler model to family and friends, compared with those owners who experience more problems than expected (63% vs. 25%, respectively)
The Study Rankings are as follows:
- Honda Activa I ranks highest in the executive scooter segment with 86 PP100
- Suzuki Access 125 ranks highest in the upper executive scooter segment with 94 PP100
- Hero HF Deluxe/ Eco/ i3S ranks highest in the economy motorcycle segment with 104 PP100
- Honda CB Shine ranks highest in the executive motorcycle segment with 115 PP100
- Yamaha FZ/ FZS ranks highest in the upper executive motorcycle segment with 108 PP100
- Yamaha YZF R15 ranks highest in the premium motorcycle segment with 86 PP100