As Customer Satisfaction with Factory Installed Vehicle Navigation Systems Narrows, Capabilities Such as Smartphone Linkage Become Key Differentiators

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Lexus Ranks Highest among Luxury Brands and Nissan Ranks Highest among Mass-Market Brands in Customer Satisfaction with OEM Navigation Systems

TOKYO: 17 October 2012 — As customer satisfaction with factory installed vehicle navigation systems narrows, product and service enhancements—particularly with the linkage of smartphones—have become important differentiators, according to the J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2012 Japan Navigation Systems Customer Satisfaction Index StudySM.

Now in its fifth year, the study analyzes overall customer satisfaction with factory-installed navigation systems, including standard equipment and optional systems installed by automakers and dealers. The study measures customer satisfaction with navigation systems as in-vehicle information systems, including music and video player functions and telematics services, in addition to search and guidance functions. Among customers who access telematics services through their navigation system, five factors are examined (listed in order of importance): car life support  (30%); driving support  (27%); cost (21%); communication environment (13%); and service support  (9%). Among customers who do not use telematics services with their navigation system, four factors are examined (listed in order of importance): car life support (40%); driving support (31%); cost (16%); and service support (13%). Overall satisfaction scores are calculated based on customer evaluations of multiple subcategories in each of these factors and are based on a 1,000-point scale.

The 2012 study finds a narrowing of satisfaction scores among brands, compared with 2011. The 2011 study combined luxury and mass market brands into one award segment, resulting in a 179-point gap between the highest- and lowest-ranked brands. The 2012 study includes awards for luxury and mass-market brands separately, resulting in gaps of 135 points and 33 points, respectively, between the highest- and lowest-ranking brands in these two segments.

The study also finds that the usage rate of smartphone vehicle navigation applications continues to increase sharply. The usage rate is especially high among vehicle owners in the 20-29 and 30-39 age groups, among whom 40 percent indicate using smartphone navigation applications in their vehicle. However, these owners tend to use smartphones to supplement their vehicle navigation system, not as a substitute for it, and engage in advanced use that makes the most of the respective benefits of in-vehicle navigation and smartphone navigation. Some owners also connect their smartphone for use as an in-vehicle music player or as a telematics communication unit.

“Linked use with smartphones and other telecommunications equipment is essential to the revitalization of the vehicle navigation market, where the development of basic functions has run its course and competitive differentiation has become difficult,” said Taku Kimoto, executive director of the automotive division at J.D. Power Asia Pacific, Tokyo. “With the explosion of smartphone usage among today’s drivers, it is extremely important that auto manufacturers continue to offer navigation systems with enhanced functions and services to make smartphone linkage simple and effective, in order to help extend the value of their vehicles.”

Lexus ranks highest in the luxury brand segment with an overall score of 652, and is the only brand to perform above the luxury segment average. Lexus performs particularly well in all factors.

Nissan ranks highest in the mass-market brand segment with an overall score of 549 points. Nissan performs particularly well in the car life support factor. Toyota ranks second (548), performing particularly well in driving support and communication environment.

The 2012 Japan Navigation Systems Customer Satisfaction Index Study is based on responses from 5,835 vehicle owners who purchased new vehicles equipped with an OEM navigation system between April 2010 and March 2012. The Internet study was fielded in July 2012.

The Japan Navigation Systems Customer Satisfaction Index Study is one of eight consumer-based benchmark studies conducted by J.D. Power Asia Pacific in Japan. Other 2012 studies conducted by J.D. Power Asia Pacific are as follows:

  • The Japan Winter Tire Customer Satisfaction Index Study was released in May 2012.
  • The Japan Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study, which measures satisfaction with the new-vehicle sales process, was released in August 2012.
  • The Japan Initial Quality Study (IQS), which measures problems experienced by new-vehicle owners during the first two to nine months of ownership, was released in August 2012.
  • The Japan Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) Study, which measures overall customer satisfaction with service performed at automotive dealer facilities, was released in September 2012.
  • The 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, was released in September 2012.
  • The Japan Original Equipment Tire Satisfaction Index Study, which measures customer satisfaction with original equipment tires equipped on new vehicles, was released in October 2012.
  • The Japan Replacement Tire Satisfaction Study will be released in November 2012.

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 Media e-mail contact:

About J.D. Power and Associates

Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company providing performance improvement, social media and customer satisfaction insights and solutions.  The company’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.

About The McGraw-Hill Companies

McGraw-Hill announced on September 12, 2011, its intention to separate into two public companies: McGraw-Hill Financial, a leading provider of content and analytics to global financial markets, and McGraw-Hill Education, a leading education company focused on digital learning and education services worldwide. McGraw-Hill Financial’s leading brands include Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services, S&P Capital IQ, S&P Indices, Platts energy information services and J.D. Power and Associates. With sales of $6.2 billion in 2011, the Corporation has approximately 23,000 employees across more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Additional information is available at

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