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CAQ report shows rising complains among Chinese car owners

Despite the rising customer satisfaction index, the complain rate has raised two years in a row, according to a report in National Business Daily, citing Fan Tianshun, assistant secretary-general of China Association for Quality (CAQ).

CAQ National Committee announced the 2011 China Automobile Customer Satisfaction Index (CACSI) on September 27. This report is based on a survey on 120 vehicles in 39 popular brands, which are mainly passenger cars, SUVs, MPVs and microvans made by 32 automakers in China.

As shown in the 2011 CACSI, the satisfaction index rose from 78 last year to 79 this year, the highest score since 2002, but customer loyalty points remained at 73 and customer complain rate raised 1.1 percentage points to 17.2 percent.

According to Fan, 54.8 percent of all complains were regarding quality issues, and complains directed at maintenance and service raised 10.1 percentage points to 31.9 percent.

CAQ’s survey found out that most customers would like automakers to improve efficiency and quality of maintenance service and charge a reasonable fee. “Service attitude satisfaction level remained the same but other satisfaction levels all experienced a drop,” Fan said.

“The survey also shows an improvement in brand imagine and quality from self-owned brands,” said Fan, “but their satisfaction level is still relatively low compared to JV brands (score for this year, 75, 6 points lower than JV brands). Self-owned brands have to work harder to close the gap,” Fan added.

According to the 2011 CACSI, the average number of problems per 100 new vehicles is 133, down 15 compared to last year. The average failure rate has decreased by 7 percentage points to 54.3 percent. These numbers show the new vehicle quality is improving. However, customers generally gave low ratings to the quality of drivetrains, steering, breaks, electronic controls, air conditioning, onboard entertainment and satellite navigation systems.

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