The number of problems reported per 100 vehicles (PP100) by new-vehicle owners has declined over the past five years, with declines reported across all problem categories except heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC), according to the JD Power 2017 India Initial Quality Study (IQS), released on Thursday. “Overall, initial quality averages 95 PP100 in 2017, a significant improvement from 115 PP100 in 2013, with lower PP100 scores indicating a lower incidence of problems and, therefore, higher initial quality,” the study noted. Although problems in the engine and transmission category remain the most frequently reported issues, there has been a significant improvement of 9 PP100 during the past five years (39 PP100 in 2013 versus 30 PP100 in 2017). Problem reporting has either remained the same or has improved in all other categories except HVAC, with new-vehicle owners reporting more problems related to the quality of air-conditioning effectiveness, compared to five years ago.
“With the advent of the lighter engine and powertrain introductions by manufacturers in the last five years, the number of engine, noise and vibration-related issues has declined considerably, resulting in better overall product quality,” said Kaustav Roy, director at JD Power. “However, the challenge lies in optimising customer requirements related to HVAC effectiveness while continuing to provide better engine power and fuel efficiency. Manufacturers that are able to integrate these customer requirements into their overall vehicle design would likely be in a better position to differentiate themselves from the competition.” In addition, the study noted that while both petrol and diesel models have shown strong improvements in initial quality since 2013, the rate of improvement for diesel models is much higher, at 37 PP100, compared with petrol models, which have improved by 8 PP100.
Both Hyundai Grand i10 and Ford Figo Next Gen (71 PP100 each) got the highest rank in upper compact segment. Hyundai Verna and Honda City (70 PP100 each) got the highest rank in midsize segment; and Hyundai Creta and Maruti Suzuki S-Cross (76 PP100 each) topped the SUV segment. Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 (103 PP100) and Maruti Suzuki Wagon R (85 PP100) ranked highest in the entry compact and compact segments, respectively. Toyota got awards in two segments—the Etios (56 PP100) in the entry midsize segment and the Innova Crysta (77 PP100), in its debut year, in the MUV/MPV segment. The IQS is based on responses from 8,578 new-vehicle owners who purchased their vehicle from November 2016 through July 2017. It was fielded from May through September 2017 in 40 cities.