JD Power customer satisfaction puts MRF, Bridgestone on top

Mumbai: According to the JD Power Asia Pacific 2003 India Tire Customer Satisfaction Index (TCSI) study released in Singapore a few days ago, Indian tyre company MRF and the world’s No 1 tyre company, the US-based Bridgestone, have emerged joints leader in customer satisfaction for the second time consecutively in a row.

The study, being held for the third year, examines customer satisfaction with original tyres after 12 to 18 months of ownership. The survey was conducted from July to September 2002 in India, and about 2,700 owners of more than 20 different vehicle models from major cities in India participated in the study.

Overall tyre performance was assessed on 15 categories, grouped into four weighted factors: appearance, wearability, traction and highway performance. MRF and Bridgestone both came out with equal index score points of 768 out of 800. JK Tyres was a close second with 766, while Goodyear (751) and Ceat (730) scored below the industry average of 764.

The top ranking for Bridgestone and MRF comes on the back of strong performances on the appearance, wearability and highway performance factors. MRF performed particularly well on the two most heavily weighted factors — appearance and wearability — while Bridgestone received high ratings for highway performance.

The study also finds that MRF performs particularly well in the premium compact and luxury car segment, while JK’s tyres perform well within the mid-size car segment. Ceat does well in the entry compact and multi-utility vehicle car segments, while Goodyear excels in the van segment.

The study finds that customers consider the brand of tyres very seriously before choosing the tyres and has the maximum impact on their purchase decision. Brand differentiation would, therefore, become a key success factor in the extremely competitive Indian tyre industry.