There are significant differences in what drives product performance satisfaction and demographic appeal across two-wheeler segments, according to the inaugural J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2015 India Two-Wheeler Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout Study (2WAPEAL) released today.
The India Two-Wheeler APEAL Study, which serves as the industry benchmark for new two-wheeler appeal, measures how gratifying a new two-wheeler is to own and ride based on owner evaluations during the first two to six months of ownership. The study examines 33 attributes across six performance categories: seats; looks and styling; control switches/ locks; engine and transmission performance; fuel economy; and ride and handling. Overall APEAL performance is reported as an index score based on a 1,000-point scale, with a higher score indicating higher satisfaction.
The two-wheeler models in this study are classified into scooters and motorcycles. Scooters include two model segments: economy and executive. Motorcycles include five model segments: economy, executive, upper executive, premium and premium plus.
“There are different drivers of performance satisfaction in each product segment, and each product segment appeals to a specific demographic,” said Mohit Arora, executive director, J.D. Power Asia Pacific. “The Two-Wheeler APEAL Study provides the industry with key information about customer expectations so manufacturers can align their designs with those expectations and improve the performance metrics of their models.”
For the scooter model segments, the categories with the most impact on product performance satisfaction are seats (21%) and engine and transmission performance (20%). Comfort is the key reason for purchasing a scooter.
For motorcycles in the economy model segment, ride handling (21%) and fuel economy (19%) are the key drivers of satisfaction, and fuel economy is the top reason for purchase. In the premium motorcycle segment, the engine and transmission performance (24%) and looks and styling (18%) categories most influence product performance satisfaction. Looks and styling is the key reason to purchase in the motorcycle premium segment.
“Demographics play an important role in owner satisfaction and meeting the various expectations of different demographic groups is critical to improving product performance and the ownership experience,” said Arora. “The median age of motorcycle owners in the economy segment is 29, while the median age is 24 years in the premium segment. Furthermore, 31 percent of premium motorcycle owners are students, while only 10 percent of economy motorcycle owners are students.”
2015 India Two-Wheeler APEAL Study Rankings
Award recipient segments include executive scooters; economy motorcycles; executive motorcycles, upper executive motorcycles; and premium motorcycles.
Yamaha Ray/ Ray Z (859) ranks highest in the executive model segment for scooters and performs particularly well in the seats and ride and handling categories.
TVS Sport (861) ranks highest in the economy model segment for motorcycles, performing well in the control switches/ locks and ride and handling categories. In the executive model segment, Hero Super Splendor and Honda CB Shine rank highest in a tie (848 each), with both models performing particularly well in the ride and handling category.
Honda CB Unicorn and Yamaha FZ rank highest in a tie (857 each) in the upper executive model segment for motorcycles, with both models performing particularly well in the engine and transmission performance category. TVS Apache RTR 180 (877) ranks highest in the premium segment, performing well in the engine and transmission performance and ride and handling categories.
- The overall two-wheeler APEAL score averages 848. APEAL scores average 844 for scooters and 849 for motorcycles.
- There is a strong correlation between APEAL scores and brand loyalty and advocacy. Among highly satisfied owners (overall satisfaction of 926 points or higher), 75 percent say they “definitely would” recommend their two-wheeler to a friend or relative.
- Majority (80%) of two-wheeler owners are first-time buyers. Product performance satisfaction among first time buyers is 11 points higher than among repeat buyers (850 vs. 839) with the biggest gap in the fuel economy category. Nearly one-fourth (21%) of first-time buyers indicate that average fuel consumption on their two-wheeler was “less than expected”, while 29 percent of repeat buyers indicate the same.
- The overall initial quality of a two-wheeler has a strong bearing on the overall APEAL score. Satisfaction among two-wheeler owners who are “delighted” (providing a rating of 10 on a 10-point scale) with initial quality is higher than among those who are “disappointed” (ratings of 1 to 5) (922 vs. 714, respectively).
- Proactive communication with owners by dealers positively impacts overall APEAL satisfaction. Overall satisfaction among owners who receive information from their dealer about their two-wheeler during delivery averages 859, compared with 819 among those who do not receive such information.
The 2015 India Two-Wheeler Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (2WAPEAL) Study is based on evaluations from 10,283 vehicle owners who purchased a new vehicle between March 2014 and October 2014. The study includes 81 two-wheeler models from nine makes. The study was fielded from September 2014 to December 2014 in 45 cities across India.