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Avoiding Shortages of Maintenance and Repair Parts Is Key to Strengthening After-Sales Service for Heavy-Duty Trucks in Japan

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Hino Ranks Highest in Owner Satisfaction with Heavy-Duty Commercial and Cargo Trucks for a Fourth Consecutive Year

TOKYO: 28 February 2013 Owner satisfaction decreases when vehicle downtime occurs due to a shortage of parts during after-sales maintenance and repair service, according to the J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2012 Japan Heavy-Duty Truck Ownership Satisfaction StudySM released today.

The study measures overall satisfaction with heavy-duty truck manufacturers and their respective authorized truck dealers among commercial fleet owners, including managers of truck freight companies. Satisfaction is determined by examining four key factors (in order of importance): service (47%), sales (23%), vehicle (15%) and cost (14%).

In the 2012 study, overall satisfaction averages 621 (on a 1,000-point scale), which is unchanged from 2011. For all manufacturers, 2012 unit sales of trucks (payload capacity of four tons or more) are higher than they have been since 2009, boosted by reconstruction demand due to the Great East Japan Earthquake. Despite strong unit sales, the level of owner satisfaction remains consistent with the level in 2011.

As was the case in 2011, service has the greatest influence on overall owner satisfaction, compared with the other factors.

"After-sales service will remain important to increasing owner satisfaction," said Taku Kimoto, executive director of automotive division at J.D. Power Asia Pacific, Tokyo. "At a time when manufacturers are increasing unit sales, they should ascertain the nature of demand for after-sales service; which after-sales service requirements are necessary for increasing owner satisfaction; and specific follow-up activities to be carried out after the sale of new trucks."  

With respect to downtime, overall satisfaction is 60 points lower among owners who indicate they experienced vehicle downtime than among those who indicate they did not experience downtime. Moreover, overall satisfaction is 79 points lower among owners who experienced downtime due to parts shortages at the time of in-house after-sales maintenance and repair than among those who did not experience downtime due to the same reason.

"To reduce the risk of deterioration of owner satisfaction due to parts shortages, manufacturers and dealers alike should take measures to prevent shortages," said Kimoto.

The study finds that overall satisfaction decreases as the number of repeat repairs increases with respect to dealer after-sales maintenance and repair service. There is a 119-point gap in satisfaction between owners who do not experience repeat repairs and those who experience needing the same problem repaired three or more times. Furthermore, the study finds that the proportion of owners who say they "definitely will not" purchase a vehicle from the same dealer again is one percent among owners who do not experience repeat repairs, compared with seven percent among those who experience repeat repairs three or more times.

"In the trucking industry, any amount of vehicle downtime may affect the livelihood of owners," said Kimoto. "Measures by manufacturers and dealers to improve the repair quality in order to avoid repeat repairs and increasing vehicle downtime rates due to parts shortages may have a strong impact on owner loyalty."

The study finds that the percentages of owners who say they "definitely will" purchase a vehicle from the same manufacturer again and "definitely will" use after-sale services from the same dealer again increase in direct proportion to overall owner satisfaction. Notably, among owners who are highly satisfied (satisfaction scores above 800), approximately one-half say they "definitely will" purchase and "definitely will" use the same dealer again.

Among the four brands included in the study, Hino ranks highest for a fourth consecutive year, with an overall satisfaction score of 631, and performs particularly well in the service, sales and vehicle factors. Following Hino in the rankings are Mitsubishi Fuso (621), UD Trucks (616) and Isuzu (615).

Now in its eighth year, the study is based on responses from 3,303 truck owners nationwide from 2,165 businesses. Each owner evaluated up to two manufacturers, with overall scores calculated based on fleet owners' evaluations of 62 attributes. The study was fielded between November and December 2012.

The Japan Heavy-Duty Truck Ownership Satisfaction Study is one of 10 benchmark studies conducted by J.D. Power Asia Pacific in Japan. Other studies conducted by J.D. Power Asia Pacific include:

  • The Japan Winter Tire Customer Satisfaction Index Study
  • The Japan Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study, which measures satisfaction with the new-vehicle sales process
  • The Japan Initial Quality Study (IQS), which measures problems experienced by new-vehicle owners during the first two to nine months of ownership
  • The Japan Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) Study, which measures overall customer satisfaction with service performed at automotive dealer facilities
  • 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
  • The Japan Original Equipment Tire Satisfaction Index Study, which measures customer satisfaction with original equipment tires equipped on new vehicles
  • The Japan Navigation Systems Customer Satisfaction Index Study, which measures customer satisfaction with original equipment and aftermarket navigation systems
  • The Japan Replacement Tire Satisfaction Study
  • The Japan Light-Duty Truck Ownership Satisfaction Study, which measures customer satisfaction with light-duty truck manufacturers and their respective local authorized truck dealers

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 forecasting, 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

The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP), a financial intelligence and education company, signed an agreement to sell its McGraw-Hill Education business to investment funds affiliated with Apollo Global Management, LLC in November 2012. Following the sale closing, expected in early 2013, the Company will be renamed McGraw Hill Financial (subject to shareholder approval) and will be a powerhouse in benchmarks, content and analytics for the global capital and commodity markets. The Company's leading brands will include: Standard & Poor's, S&P Capital IQ, S&P Dow Jones Indices, Platts, Crisil, J.D. Power and Associates, McGraw-Hill Construction and Aviation Week. The Company will have approximately 17,000 employees in more than 30 countries.  Additional information is available at

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