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Vehicle owners in China care most for exterior and interior, says J.D. Power

SHANGHAI –Vehicle owners in China care most for vehicle exterior and interior, which accounted for 18 and 15 percent respectively of all reported problems, according to the J.D. Power 2017 China Vehicle Dependability StudySM (VDS) released on September 20.

The study shows that the top three problems in vehicle exterior are excessive road noise, wind noise and light bulb failure; as for vehicle interior, the top three problems were steering wheel worn or faded, materials scuff/soil easily and writing on controls faded/removed.

The most complained area in China is vehicle exterior, while problems with communication, entertainment and navigation are most reported by U.S. consumers – 22 percent in the U.S., compared with 8 percent in China.

“It is important for automakers to understand that the concerns and needs of consumers in different markets can be hugely different, thus they should understand and precisely address the specific demands in each local marketplace,” said Jeff Cai, general manager of Auto Product Practice at J.D. Power China. “Consumers in China obviously care more about their physical senses, compared with U.S. consumers who are more concerned about technology-related problems.”

Among luxury brands, Porsche ranked highest in vehicle dependability with a score of 101 PP100; BMW and Land Rover followed with 111 PP100 each. Among mass market brands, Jeep ranked highest with a score of 116 PP100, followed by smart with 119 PP100 and Renault with 121 PP100.

Now in its eighth year, the study is based on responses from 29,747 owners of vehicles purchased between December 2012 and December 2014, and is fielded from December 2016 through July 2017 in 62 cities across China, which includes 177 problem symptoms across eight categories: engine/ transmission; vehicle exterior; driving experience; features/controls/displays; audio/ communication/entertainment/navigation; seats; heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) and vehicle interior. This year, the study analyzed 176 models of 63 makes across 22 vehicle segments.

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