Vehicle Brand Loyalty and Advocacy Increase in Mexico When Problems Decrease, J.D. Power Finds
Mercedes-Benz (Luxury) and Ram (Mass Market) Rank Highest in Respective Segments
Vehicle owners in Mexico who experience no problems during the first three years of ownership are the most likely to remain loyal to—and advocate for—that vehicle brand, according to the J.D. Power 2020 Mexico Vehicle Dependability StudySM (VDS), released today.
Nearly seven in 10 (68%) customers who didn’t experience problems with their vehicle say they will purchase or lease the same brand again. However, that number drops to 58% if they experience three problems with their vehicle and declines to 48% if they experience five or more problems. In terms of advocacy, 78% of owners who experience no problems will recommend their brand to others. While the likelihood to recommend their brand declines slowly with each additional problem experienced, it drops 16 percentage points when four or more problems are experienced.
“Owners in Mexico will recommend and reacquire a brand even if they don’t have a completely problem-free experience but, as vehicles age, owners indicate a higher number of problems,” said Brais Álvarez, account manager at J.D. Power de México. “Automakers need to make note of the problems that reoccur and invest in improving vehicle quality and the quality of service performed at authorized dealerships. Ultimately, retaining loyal customers is more efficient and cost effective than gaining new customers, so it’s important for manufacturers to make sure they aren’t giving owners a reason to seek another brand.”
The study, now in its sixth year, measures problems experienced during the past 12 months by original owners of vehicles in Mexico after 12-36 months of ownership. The study examines 177 problems across eight categories: exterior; driving experience; features/controls/displays (FCD); audio/communication/entertainment/navigation (ACEN); seats; heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC); interior; and engine/transmission. Overall dependability is determined by the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100), with a lower score reflecting higher quality.
Following are key findings of the 2020 study:
- ACEN and interior remain problematic: For a fourth consecutive year, built-in Bluetooth connectivity is the most frequently cited problem among vehicle owners of one- to three-year-old vehicles (6.8 PP100). The second most frequently cited problem is the durability of the interior materials (6 PP100).
- Crossover segment has least amount of problems: The crossover segment has the fewest problems per 100 vehicles (152 PP100) while the mini pickup segment (246 PP100) has the most problems. This dramatic gap should encourage brands to deeply analyze problems experienced in these two segments: how vehicles in the crossover segment excel in the engine and transmission category (14 PP100) while vehicles in the mini pickup segment have more than twice as many problems (31 PP100) in the same category.
- Engine/transmission problems affect loyalty: Half of the top 10 most severe problems are in the engine and transmission category (21 PP100). Only 53% of owners who experience engine/transmission problems say they are likely to repurchase the same vehicle brand vs. 63% of owners who say they are likely to repurchase the same brand when they don’t experience such a problem.
Mercedes-Benz ranks highest in vehicle dependability among luxury brands with 151 PP100. MINI (177 PP100) ranks second.
Ram ranks highest in vehicle dependability among mass market brands, and performs highest overall, with 136 PP100. Mazda (147 PP100) ranks second and Kia (163 PP100) ranks third.
The 2020 Mexico Vehicle Dependability Study is based on the evaluations of 7,729 interviews with owners in Mexico who purchased their vehicle from February 2017 through February 2019. The study was fielded from April through September 2020.
J.D. Power is a global leader in consumer insights, advisory services and data and analytics. These capabilities enable J.D. Power to help its clients drive customer satisfaction, growth and profitability. Established in 1968, J.D. Power has offices serving North America, Asia Pacific and Europe.
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