November 6, 2003

Hyundai car stereos ranked best in J.D. Power and Associates survey

Westlake Village, California – Hyundai Autonet and Alpine Electronics rank highest in quality for factory-installed audio systems within the AM/FM/single CD player and AM/FM/cassette/single CD player categories respectively, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2003 Audio Quality Report released on Wednesday.

Among the large number of possible audio system configurations available, the most common system is the AM/FM/cassette/single CD player, which represents 32 percent of the market, followed closely by the AM/FM/single CD player with 30 percent of the market. The AM/FM/cassette receiver/playback type, which was the most popular system in 1998 with 39 percent market share, is now almost non-existent, making up just 3 percent of the market.

“The audio market is moving toward more advanced features, with the demand for cassette players continually declining,” said Allison LaDuc, research manager at J.D. Power and Associates. “Consumers are also moving toward more advanced features such as multiple CD changers, MP3 players and satellite radio.”

With 3.0 PP100, Hyundai Autonet (formerly Hyundai Electronics) ranks highest for quality in the AM/FM/single CD player category. Hyundai Autonet performs better than the receiver/playback average by 2.5 PP100 and supplies this system for all eight of the vehicles produced by Hyundai Motor America included in the 2003 report.

Alpine Electronics ranks highest in quality in the AM/FM/cassette/single CD player category, with 3.7 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100). Alpine performs better than the receiver/playback average by 1.2 PP100. Alpine Electronics supplies the system to 10 vehicle models included in the 2003 report.

The report finds that 5 percent of new-vehicle owners experience a problem with their audio system within the first three months of ownership. Consistent with previous years, the most commonly reported sound system-related problem is “radio won’t stay on station/poor reception.” This problem alone represents 40 percent of the total receiver/playback quality score.

With regard to vehicle segments, full-size car owners report the fewest problems with their sound systems with a score of 4.0 PP100, while compact car owners report the most with 6.2 PP100. Four of the eight vehicle segments analyzed in the report have improved or maintained sound system quality scores over 2002.

Seventy-eight percent of respondents rate their satisfaction an 8 or above on a 10-point satisfaction scale, while only 6 percent rate their systems as average. Overall, consumers are indicating high levels of satisfaction with their vehicle sound systems, reporting an average mean score of 8.49. The highest level of satisfaction is seen in the area of sound quality, while the lowest is in the area of storage space for cassettes and/or CDs.

The 2003 Audio Quality Report, which examines 13 possible sound system-related problems and 11 sound system-related satisfaction areas, is based on responses from 78,428 new-vehicle owners who indicate their vehicles are equipped with factory-installed stereo systems. The survey was conducted among consumers after three months of vehicle ownership.



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