Premium-Branded Audio Systems Have the Greatest Positive Impact On Vehicle Owner Satisfaction with Multimedia Systems

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Panasonic Automotive Systems Company of America, Continental Automotive and Bosch Each Rank Highest in Vehicle Multimedia Quality in Their Respective Segment

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.: 30 August 2012 — Premium-branded audio systems as well as features like satellite radio and navigation systems drive higher satisfaction with multimedia systems among vehicle owners, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2012 U.S. Multimedia Quality and Satisfaction StudySM released today.

The study evaluates owner quality, satisfaction and their experience with the features of their new-vehicle multimedia system. Study findings assist automakers and suppliers in improving the design and manufacture of audio, entertainment and navigation systems, which are increasingly important to new-vehicle owners. Problems are measured per 100 vehicles (PP100), with a lower PP100 score indicating higher quality.

Upgrades to multimedia systems positively impact satisfaction. Satisfaction among vehicle owners who opt for a premium-branded audio system (8.4 on a 10-point scale) is more than one point higher, on average, than among those who do not select this option (7.3). Of the 53 percent of vehicle owners that have a premium-branded audio system in their vehicle, 96 percent also want it in their next vehicle. In addition, four other multimedia features positively impact satisfaction by at least one-half a point. The top five features that most positively impact satisfaction are:

  1. Premium-branded audio system             
  2. Steering wheel controls for audio system     
  3. Satellite radio                     
  4. Navigation system                 
  5. MP3-capable CD player             

"The positive impact on satisfaction with more premium audio features and options demonstrates vehicle owners' desire for more advanced, functional and personalized media technologies," said Mike VanNieuwkuyk, executive director of global automotive at J.D. Power and Associates. "As overall customer interest in new media technologies grows, so do expectations for having these technologies in their next vehicle, leaving older technologies by the wayside. This shift in expectations is evident in the top five features that most positively impact satisfaction."

The number of problems vehicle owners experience with their multimedia system has increased year over year. The study finds that the total multimedia problems vehicle owners reported are up slightly to 7.0 PP100, on average, compared with 6.9 PP100 in 2011. Problems associated with navigation systems have also increased. Specifically, problems with the navigation system map information missing/wrong directions/screen in poor location have increased by 0.1 point to 1.5 PP100 from 2011, while problems associated with the navigation system freezing up have increased by 0.3 point to 0.7 PP100 from 2011.

"Navigation systems are constantly being upgraded, and as new layers of interaction and information are added, the more complex these systems become," said VanNieuwkuyk. "Compared with other areas of the multimedia system, navigation systems are evolving the most and in the quickest amount of time, which leads to growing pains and increased problems."

Multimedia Quality Rankings

Panasonic Automotive Systems Company of America ranks highest in the AM/FM/single CD player segment with a score of 3.5 PP100. Delphi Automotive and Clarion follow in the rankings with 3.7 PP100 and 3.9 PP100, respectively.

In the AM/FM/single CD player/satellite radio segment, Continental Automotive ranks highest with a score of 3.5 PP100. Delphi Automotive and Panasonic Automotive Systems Company of America follow in the rankings in a tie with 4.6 PP100 each.

Bosch ranks highest in the AM/FM/single CD player/satellite radio/navigation segment with a score of 7.9 PP100. Mitsubishi Electric Automotive America, Inc. (8.8 PP100) and DENSO Corporation (9.4 PP100) follow in the rankings.

The 2012 Multimedia Quality and Satisfaction Study is based on responses from more than 74,000 new-vehicle owners who purchased or leased a 2012 model-year vehicle. The study was fielded between February and May 2012. Twenty-eight multimedia permutations are evaluated, which include different combinations of the following systems: AM/FM radio; cassette player; single CD player; multiple CD changer; navigation system; and satellite radio. Multimedia system suppliers are ranked based on the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100) in three segments: AM/FM/single CD player; AM/FM/single CD player/satellite radio; and AM/FM/single CD player/satellite radio/navigation.

About J.D. Power and Associates

Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company operating in key business sectors including market research, forecasting, performance improvement, Web intelligence and customer satisfaction.  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 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 Dow Jones 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

Media Relations Contacts:

John Tews; J.D. Power and Associates; Troy, Mich.; (248) 680-6218;
Syvetril Perryman; Westlake Village, Calif.; (805) 418-8103;

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No advertising or other promotional use can be made of the information in this release without the express prior written consent of J.D. Power and Associates.

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