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Nearly 90 Percent of Vehicle Owners in Japan Take Their Vehicles to Dealerships for After-Sales Service, Testing the Capacity of Service Bays

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Lexus Ranks Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Dealer Service among Luxury Brands for a Seventh Consecutive Year; MINI and Mazda Rank Highest among Mass Market Brands in a Tie

TOKYO: 25 September 2013 — With an increased percentage of owners in Japan taking their vehicles to dealerships for service, the ability to get an appointment at owners’ desired time and day has a significant impact on overall satisfaction, according to the J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2013 Japan Customer Service Index (CSI) StudySM released today.

The study, now in its 12th year, measures overall customer satisfaction with service performed at automotive authorized dealer facilities based on five factors (in order of importance): vehicle pick-up (21%); service representative (21%); service quality (21%); facility (19%); and service initiation (18%). Overall customer satisfaction is reported as an index score based on a 1,000-point scale, with a higher score indicating higher customer satisfaction.

For the industry overall, as a venue of vehicle hand over for servicing, 88 percent of owners take their vehicles to the dealer when they obtain after-sales services in 2013, a 10-percentage-point increase from 2008 and vehicle pick-up offering by dealer is getting much lesser than the past. The luxury brand average (70%) and mass market brand average (89%) have each increased by approximately 10 points during the same period. Additionally, 90 percent of owners make a service appointment in advance, a 9-percentage-point increase from 2008. 

“With an increased percentage of owners taking their vehicle to dealers for service, being able to obtain service at the desired date and time is critical to satisfaction,” said Taku Kimoto, executive director of the automotive division at J.D. Power Asia Pacific, Tokyo. “With the majority of owners taking their vehicle in for after-sales services, the ability of dealers to accept vehicles for service at the customer’s desired date and time is put to the test.”

The study finds that satisfaction is 86 points higher among vehicle owners who are able to make an appointment at their preferred date and time than among those who are unable to do so.

“It’s important for dealers to proactively manage their service operations by contacting vehicle owners and scheduling service appointments,” said Kimoto. “Since the number of customers managed by dealers continues to increase, and with owners keeping their vehicles longer, the need for service appointment management is likely to increase even more.”

The most important element of service quality, one of three factors having the greatest impact on overall satisfaction, is the vehicle’s condition upon return. Satisfaction is significantly higher (2.1 points on a 10-point scale) among customers whose dealer does “a good job” of both car washing and cleaning the interior of the vehicle than among those whose dealer fails to do “a good job” on both.

By brand, 64 percent of Lexus owners say the dealer does “a good job” of both car washing and interior cleaning. The percentages of mass market brand owners who say the dealer does “a good job” of both tasks are low, with a wide variance among brands.

“Since service quality is a factor that has a major impact on the overall after-sales service experience, this is an area in which automakers should make further improvements,” said Kimoto. “Returning the vehicle in clean condition offers an excellent opportunity for dealers to impart to customers a favorable impression of the quality of their service operations overall, and a way for dealers to differentiate themselves from competitors.”         

The study finds that the higher the overall CSI score, the stronger the intention among customers to revisit an authorized dealer for all eight after-sales service items: routine maintenance (other than shaken inspection); shaken inspection※ ; installation of accessories, such as a navigation system; oil change; replace consumables, such as wiper blades and batteries; purchase or replace tires; conduct repairs for breakdowns or problems; and body repairs, such or paint. Nearly one-half (48%) of customers who are highly satisfied with their service experience (overall CSI scores of 800 and higher) are willing to revisit authorized dealers for all of their after-sales services, compared with only 28 percent of those who are less satisfied (overall CSI scores of 500 and lower).

※Shaken inspections are performed to ensure that vehicles are properly maintained, safe to be on the road and have not been illegally modified. These inspections are required every two to three years.

“In the Japanese auto market, where prospects for growth in domestic demand are poor, after-sales services are the greatest source of income for dealerships,” said Kimoto. “Measures to increase customer satisfaction are essential to achieving continuity and stability of income from after-sales services.”

Overall service satisfaction averages 679 index points in 2013.  


Lexus ranks highest in the luxury segment with an overall CSI score of 816, which is 56 points higher than the segment average of 697. Lexus performs particularly well in all five factors.

MINI and Mazda rank highest in a tie in the mass market brand segment with a score of 697 each, which is 20 points higher than the segment average of 677. MINI ranks highest in the segment for a second consecutive year. Nissan (689) ranks third in the segment.

The 2013 Japan Customer Service Index (CSI) Study measures passenger-vehicle owner satisfaction with after-sales service obtained during the most recent one-year period at an authorized dealership. The study is based on responses from 9,792 domestic and import vehicle owners after 15 to 50 months of ownership. The online survey was fielded from late May through late June 2013.

The Japan Customer Service Index (CSI) Study is one of eight consumer-based benchmark studies conducted by J.D. Power Asia Pacific in Japan. Other 2013 studies conducted by J.D. Power Asia Pacific include:

  • The 2013 Japan Winter Tire Customer Satisfaction Index Study, which measures overall customer satisfaction with winter tires, was released in May.
  • The 2013 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.
  • The 2013 Japan Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study, which measures satisfaction with the new-vehicle sales process, was released in late August.
  • The 2013 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 late September.
  • The 2013 Japan Original Equipment Tire Satisfaction Study, which measures customer satisfaction with original equipment tires, will be released in October.
  • The 2013 Japan Navigation Systems Customer Satisfaction Index Study, which measures customer satisfaction with OEMs and aftermarket navigation system, will be released in October.
  • The 2013 Japan Replacement Tire Satisfaction Study, which measures customer satisfaction with replacement 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 Media email contact:

About J.D. Power

J.D. Power 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. Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power has offices in North/South America, Europe and Asia Pacific. For more information on car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit J.D. Power is a business unit of McGraw Hill Financial.

About McGraw Hill Financial

McGraw Hill Financial (NYSE: MHFI) is a leading financial intelligence company providing the global capital and commodity markets with independent benchmarks, credit ratings, portfolio and enterprise risk solutions, and analytics. The Company's iconic brands include: Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services, S&P Capital IQ, S&P Dow Jones Indices, Platts, CRISIL, J.D. Power, and McGraw Hill Construction. The Company has approximately 17,000 employees in 27 countries. Additional information is available at

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