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Brand perception is an influential driver for shoppers considering replacement Tires in India

SINGAPORE:13 April 2016- Customers' perceptions of their original equipment (OE) tire brandare an influential driver when considering replacement tires for their vehicle, according to the J.D. Power 2016 India Original Equipment Tire CustomerSatisfaction Index (TCSI) Study,released today.

The study, now in its 16th year, measures satisfaction among original equipment tire owners during the first 12 to 24 months of ownership across four factors (listed in order of importance): appearance (876 on a 1,000-point scale); ride (876); durability (870); and traction/ handling (872).

More than half (52%) of tire customers indicate that brand perception of the original equipment tires on their vehicle is an important criterion when considering replacement tires.Additionally, 14% of customers indicate tire appearance-tread design and wheel/rim styling-is an important reason to select a replacement tire. When replacing tires,59% of customers indicate they purchase their tires atan authorized tire store.

"Given the fact that tire brand perception is a key driver when considering replacement tires, and that more customers are purchasing at authorized tire retailers, OEMs may want to provide a superior customer experience at their authorized tire outlets," said Mohit Arora, executive director, J.D. Power. "An enhanced customer experience during the replacement process can help add to a customer's perception of the brand. This can lead to higher levels of brand loyalty and more recommendations to friends and family.

KEY FINDINGS

  • Overall OE tire customer satisfaction averages 873 points, a 5-point increase from 2015. Satisfaction improves across all four factors year over year, most notably in ride (+7 points).
  • Customers expect their tires to be problem free. Even one problem can impact satisfaction levels negatively by 57 points, compared to when no problems are experienced.
  • The repurchase intent for the OE fitted brand is extremely strong, with 94% of customers indicating they are likely to repurchase their existing brand. However, those who intend to switch brands indicate personal brand preference and tire quality expectations as the main reasons.
  • The study finds that 74% of owners who are highly satisfied (overall satisfaction scores of 955 or higher) with their original tires say they "definitely would" recommend their tire brand. Among customers who are less satisfied (scores of 814 or less), only 38% say they "definitely would" recommend their tire brand.

Study Rankings

Bridgestone and MRF (881 in a tie) rank highest in overall customer satisfaction. Bridgestone performs well in the ride factor (883) and MRF performs particularly well in appearance (884).

The 2016 India Original Equipment Tire Customer Satisfaction Index (TCSI) Study is based on 3,496 responses from new-vehicle owners who purchased their vehicle between May 2013 and August 2014. The study was fielded between May and August 2015.

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