Santro, Ikon, Honda City shine in JD Power Asia Pacific survey

MUMBAI: Hyundai Santro, Ford Ikon, Honda City and Tata Safari rank highest in their respective vehicle segments. The information is contained in the J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2003 India Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (Apeal) Study.



The study, now in its sixth year, measures owner delight with the design, content, layout and performance of new vehicles across eight specific categories during the first two to six months of ownership. The categories are: engine/transmission; ride, handling and braking; comfort/convenience; seats; cockpit/instrument panel; heating, ventilation and cooling; sound system; and styling/exterior.

The industry maintains a steady year-over-year improvement trend in India, increasing three index points over 2002 to 765 index points in 2003 out of a possible 1,000. Seven out of the 11 makes measured in the study experienced improvements in their Apeal scores over 2002.

The Hyundai Santro ranks highest in the premium compact segment for the fourth consecutive year. The Maruti Wagon R and Maruti Alto follow closely in the rankings in this highly competitive segment. With a nine-point improvement over 2002, Ford Ikon ranks highest in the entry midsize segment. The Opel Corsa/Swing, which improves 24 points over 2002, follows the Ikon in the segment ranking.

J.D. Power Asia Pacific India country manager Mohit Arora was quoted in an official release saying, ?Internationally, most models follow a distinct life cycle with Apeal scores declining each year. However, models like the Hyundai Santro and the Ford Ikon have successfully stemmed this decline in India by continuously introducing new variants to improve their appeal.

"Typically, the introduction of a new model or redesign is not only an opportunity to differentiate products; it is imperative, as Indian consumers demand the latest product offerings. Models with high appeal tend to have higher advocacy and loyalty intentions, thus directly impacting the bottom line of manufacturers.?

The 2003 India Apeal Study was based on evaluations from more than 3,300 owners of personal-use vehicles covering 11 makes and 26 models. It included customers who purchased their vehicles between January 2003 to July 2003.

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