Honda, Maruti, Mahindra capture top rankings in total customer satisfaction

NEW DELHI: According to a recent study by NFO Automotive, Maruti models rank highest for Total Customer Satisfaction (TCS) in the small car petrol segments. Honda leads the midsize and entry luxury vehicles. In the highly competitive SUV segment, Mahindra Scorpio has overtaken the Toyota Qualis.

An official release states that the 2003 TCS is the largest automotive syndicated study in India. The sample base consists of 7,014 new-car buyers having up to three years of vehicle ownership. Analysis focusses on the performance of over 40 models in the key areas of sales satisfaction, product quality, vehicle performance and design, after-sales service, brand image, and cost-of-ownership. NFO Automotive is a specialty division within NFO WorldGroup, one of the world?s leading providers of marketing research insight and counsel.

Rankings for the TCS study are conducted at the vehicle segment level to provide comparisons among similar groups of vehicles. The models which lead their respective segments on the TCS index score are Maruti 800 (entry compact segment); Maruti Wagon-R (premium compact segment); Tata Indica Diesel (diesel small car segment); Hyundai Accent Petrol (entry midsize segment); Honda City (midsize segment); Ford Ikon Diesel (diesel midsize car segment); Skoda Octavia (premium midsize segment); Honda Accord (entry luxury segment); and Mahindra Scorpio (SUV segment). The TCS index score provides a measure of commitment a given model or brand enjoys with its customers.

NFO Automotive MG Rajeev Lochan added, ? The industry average TCS score has improved by three index points from 2002. Our analysis reveals that manufacturers are meeting their customers? expectations in regards to product quality and vehicle performance, but fall short in the areas of after-sales service and cost of ownership?.

The study finds that managing customer expectations become increasingly challenging as the length of vehicle ownership increases. Compared to an average TCS score of 88 for 1 to 6 months owners, the score for post-warranty customers drops by nine index points to 79. ?Honda and Maruti perform better than the industry in satisfying their customers throughout the ownership period with a relatively higher degree of consistency in both product quality and dealer service. It is not surprising to find that Honda and Maruti models enjoy a relatively stronger customer commitment among post-warranty owners who are closer to their next vehicle purchase? Lochan added.

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