September 21, 2004
Michelin tires rank highest in customer satisfaction surveys
Westlake Village, California – Michelin ranks highest in three out of four original equipment (OE) tire segments, while Goodyear ranks highest in the fourth remaining segment, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2004 Original Equipment Tire Customer Satisfaction Study released on Monday.
The study, which measures customer satisfaction with the tires that came equipped on their new vehicles, ranks tire manufacturers based on the experiences of first-year vehicle owners in four segments: luxury/sport; mass-market/non-luxury; pickup/fullsize van; and SUV. Overall satisfaction is calculated using a tire satisfaction index that includes five factors: tire appearance, tire handling, tire ride, tire traction and tire wearability.
In the luxury/sport segment, Michelin ranks highest, receiving the highest ratings from owners in the tire wearability factor, which is most important to luxury/sport vehicle owners. Michelin is followed in the luxury/sport segment ranking by Dunlop and Pirelli, respectively.
In the mass market/non-luxury segment, Michelin ranks highest, receiving the highest ratings from owners in all five factors. Following Michelin in the mass market/non-luxury segment ranking are General and Goodyear, respectively.
In the pickup/fullsize van segment, Goodyear ranks highest, receiving the highest ratings in tire appearance. Goodyear is followed in the pickup/fullsize van segment rankings by BFGoodrich and Michelin in a tie.
In the SUV segment, Michelin receives the highest ratings in all five factors. Michelin is followed in the SUV segment rankings by BFGoodrich and Yokohama, respectively.
The study finds that approximately 19 percent of respondents experience a problem with their tires in the first year of ownership, and tire satisfaction decreases substantially when a problem with one or more tires occurs. Of the 10 percent of respondents who had to replace one or more tires, satisfaction drops an average of 200 index points compared to the industry average as opposed to those reporting that they did not replace any tires. Satisfaction also drops from one year to two years of ownership, likely due to an increase in mileage, wear and associated problems.
“Maintaining high customer satisfaction is critical to tire manufacturers, particularly in the first two years of ownership, due to its impact on repurchase intent,” said Carolyn Picard, director of automotive components research for J.D. Power and Associates. “Intent to replace tires with the same brand drops by an average of 11 percent among those who had to replace a tire compared to those who didn’t.”
The 2004 Original Equipment Tire Customer Satisfaction Study is based on responses from 31,557 owners who purchased their new vehicles in 2002 and 2003.