ERJ staff report (DS)
Tokyo - Internet shopping and tyre labels are influencing the Japanese replacement tyre market, , according to the J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2011 Japan Replacement Tire Customer Satisfaction Index Study released today.
The study, now in its third year, measures customer satisfaction with replacement tyres (excluding winter tyres) in four segments: mini-car/compact car, passenger car, mini van, and SUV. Overall customer satisfaction with replacement tyres is based on four factors: appearance, durability/reliability, handling/traction, and ride/quietness.
The study finds that the percentage of owners who rely on the Internet when selecting tyres has increased by 10 percentage points during the past three years to an average of 38 percent in 2011. During the same period, the percentage of owners who rely on salesperson recommendations has decreased by 11 percentage points to 39 percent.
Owners most often rely on official websites of tyre brands. On average, customers visit 3.5 tyre brand websites. In addition, the study finds that the average amount spent for tyres by owners who visit tyre brand websites during the shopping process is 15 percent higher than the industry average.
Introduction of the Japan Automobile Tyre Manufacturers Association (JATMA) tyre grading and labeling system for tyre rolling resistance and wet grip performance in 2010 has contributed to wider availability of tyre information for consumers.
â€œVehicle owners are actively seeking information online regarding tyre performance and to compare products before visiting tyre shops,â€ said Tetsushi Furuya, project manager at J.D. Power Asia Pacific, Tokyo. â€œThis suggests that owners are increasingly forming judgments about which tyres to purchase before even setting foot in a shop or speaking to a salesperson.â€
According to Furuya, since owners who actively seek information on the Internet prior to visiting a tyre shop are also more likely to select higher-performance tyres that cost more, it is important for tyre manufacturers to use various media that are suited to consumer needs when providing product information.
Yokohama ranks highest in customer satisfaction with replacement tyres in the mini-car/compact car segment, Michelin ranks highest in the passenger car segment, and Bridgestone ranks highest in the mini van segment. Michelin receives an award in the passenger car segment for a third consecutive year.
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Press release from J D Power