New Delhi: According to the J D Power original tire customer satisfaction study 2004, Chennai based tyre company, MRF has ranked highest in customer satisfaction for the third consecutive year for the Asia Pacific region.
The study, which has been conducted for the fourth year in the region, examines customer satisfaction with original tires at 12 to 18 months of ownership. More than 1,500 owners of 28 different vehicle models participated in the 2004 study, which was fielded from June to August 2003.
Unlike in the past, the study now deals only with radial tires, as nearly all the new passenger vehicles sold in India are now fitted with radial tires. Overall tyre performance was assessed on 20 attributes, grouped into five pre-defined factors: ride, handling, traction, durability and appearance.
MRF received the highest ratings in the study in four of the five factors determining overall satisfaction with tyres: appearance, durability, traction, and handling. Bridgestone, JK Tyre and Goodyear follow MRF in the rankings, in that order.
''MRF's continued success is based on its ability to consistently deliver on those factors that are most important to its customers,'' said Mohit Arora, India country manager, J D Power Asia Pacific. ''As a result, nearly one-fourth of MRF's customers rate their tyres as outstanding.''
In 2002 and 2003, MRF tied with Bridgestone for the first place in the original tyre customer satisfaction study in India.
Importantly, more than 40 percent of new-vehicle buyers indicated that tyre-related features were among the considerations influencing the vehicle purchase decision. The study also reveals that more than one-fifth of all new-vehicle buyers choose the brand of tyres on their new vehicles.
''These findings suggest that although tyre choice is often the prerogative of vehicle manufacturers, it is important that manufacturers understand the needs and concerns of the new-vehicle buyers related to original tyres to ensure that customer expectations are being met,'' said Arora.
The occurrence of a single tyre-related problem leads to a significant drop in satisfaction and intention to repurchase the same tyre make. Among owners who experienced a problem, ''damage from puncture'' was the most reported problem for the tyre industry. ''Nine out of 10 MRF owners did not report a single problem with their tyres,'' said Arora. ''It is one of the reasons why MRF owners continue to register the highest loyalty and advocacy rates in the industry.''
The study examines owner evaluations with tyres that were originally fitted on the new vehicle at the time of delivery. This does not necessarily mean original equipment tyres since some buyers may have opted to purchase different tyres at the time of delivery.