Satisfaction with Winter Tires in Japan Decreases during the Second Season of Use and Beyond

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Michelin Ranks Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Winter Tires in Japan for an 11th Consecutive Year

Tokyo: 15 May 2014 ― Satisfaction with winter tires decreases during the second season of use and beyond, according to the J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2014 Japan Winter Tire Customer Satisfaction Index StudySM released today. 

In 2014, which is the 11th year the study has been published, evaluation criteria has been revised to reflect the maturing tire market and changes in the automotive sales market in Japan. The study measures customer satisfaction with winter tires by examining six factors (in order of importance): traction/ handling on icy roads (25%); appearance (17%); ride/ quietness (17%); wearability (15%); traction/ handling on snow-covered roads (13%); and traction/ handling on dry/ wet roads (13%). Overall customer satisfaction with winter tires averages 551 (on a 1,000-point scale) in 2014.

 KEY FINDINGS

  • The study examines satisfaction with the performance of winter tires based on the number of winter seasons used. Customer satisfaction declines by a significant 27 points between the first season (567) and second season (540). Satisfaction drops to 536 points in the third season.  
  • Satisfaction with transaction/ handling on snow-covered and icy winter roads declines significantly during the second season. Traction/ Handling on snow-covered roads satisfaction drops to 549 in the second season from 584 in the first season, and satisfaction with traction/ handling on icy roads declines to 528 from 565, while satisfaction in all factors declines during the second season.
  • Regarding seasonal tire performance, in the second season of ownership, 33 percent of customers perceive changes in the wear on their winter tires under snow-covered and icy road conditions, and this perception increases to 39 percent of customers in the third season.
  • The study also finds a correlation between overall customer satisfaction and brand loyalty. Nearly two in five (39%) highly satisfied customers (overall satisfaction scores of 800 and above) are loyal,  having owned the same brand in the past and intending to purchase the same brand of replacement winter tires in the future, compared to only 19 percent of customers with lower satisfaction (scores of 400 and below) who are loyal.  
  • Nearly one-half (46%) of customers are loyal, having owned the same brand in the past and intending to purchase the same brand of replacement winter tires in the future. Bridgestone has the highest percentage of loyal customers (65%) in the industry.

“While tire manufacturers have improved the basic performance of winter tires, in order to differentiate themselves in the future, they need to reduce the rate of tire deterioration,” said Taku Kimoto, executive director of the automotive division at J.D. Power Asia Pacific, Tokyo. “Given that 53 percent of customers have owned their winter tires for four years or more, it is imperative to decrease customer’s perception of aging and deterioration in their winter tires in order to retain and increase their satisfaction.”

2014 Ranking Highlights

Michelin ranks highest in overall customer satisfaction for an 11th consecutive year, with a score of 633. Michelin has continued to lead the industry since the study was launched in 2004. Michelin performs well across all factors. Bridgestone ranks second with a score of 583, achieving above-industry average scores in all factors.

The 2014 Japan Winter Tire Customer Satisfaction Index Study is based on responses from 7,525 vehicle owners who purchased and continue to use new winter tires for their personal passenger vehicle (including mini-cars) between May 2011 and February 2014. The online survey was fielded in February 2014.

The Japan Winter Tire Customer Satisfaction Index (W-TSI) Study is one of many benchmark studies conducted by J.D. Power Asia Pacific in Japan. Other 2014 studies conducted by J.D. Power Asia Pacific include:

  • The 2014 Japan Initial Quality Study (IQS), which measures problems experienced by new-vehicle owners during the first two to nine months of ownership, will be released in August
  • The 2014 Japan Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study, which measures satisfaction with the new-vehicle sales process, will be released in August
  • The 2014 Japan Customer Service Index (CSI) Study, which measures overall customer satisfaction with service performed at automotive dealer facilities, will be released in September
  • The 2014 Japan Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study, which measures what excites and delights owners about their new vehicle’s performance and design during the first two to nine months of ownership, will be released in September
  • The 2014 Japan Navigation Systems Customer Satisfaction Index Study, which measures customer satisfaction with original equipment and aftermarket navigation systems, will be released in October
  • The 2014 Japan Replacement Tire Customer Satisfaction Index Study, which measures customer satisfaction with replacement tires (excluding winter tires), will be released in October

About J.D. Power Asia Pacific

J.D. Power Asia Pacific has offices in Tokyo, Singapore, Beijing, Shanghai and Bangkok that conduct customer satisfaction research and provide consulting services in the automotive, information technology and finance industries. Together, the five offices bring the language of customer satisfaction to consumers and businesses in China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan and Thailand. Information regarding J.D. Power Asia Pacific and its products can be accessed through the Internet at japan.jdpower.com.

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