ERJ staff report (DS)
Singapore - The tyre market in India is maturing, as more owners use authorised retail outlets rather than backstreet garages for tyre maintenance, according to a new study. Nevertheless, roadside mechanics still service more than half of tyres, according to the J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2012 India Original Equipment Tire Customer Satisfaction Index (TCSI) Study
More than one-half (53 percent) of original equipment tyre owners in India who experience a tyre-related problem have the repair made by a roadside mechanic. However, 38 percent of owners take their vehicle to a retail outlet for tyre repairs, compared with 7 percent in 2011.
"The shift in preference for organised retail outlets reflects customer demands for better service, facilities and processes," said Mohit Arora, executive director, J.D. Power Asia Pacific, Singapore. "Therefore, it might be prudent on the part of tyre manufacturers to fine-tune their retail strategy to ensure a superior customer experience at these outlets."
The study, now in its 12th year, measures satisfaction among original equipment tyre owners during the first 12 to 24 months of ownership. The study measures overall satisfaction across four factors (listed in order of importance): appearance, durability, traction/handling and ride.
MRF ranks highest in satisfaction with original equipment tyres for a third consecutive year, achieving a score of 841. MRF improves eight points from 2011 and performs well across all factors. JK Tyre ranks second with a score of 831, while Apollo ranks third at 827.
"One of the key drivers of satisfaction with MRF tyres is that owners report fewer problems, compared with the industry average," said Arora. "This has been one of the cornerstones of MRF's successful performance during the past three years."
Further, the 2012 study finds an increase in the importance of such features as run-flat tyres and self-sealing tyres, compared with the 2011 study. Innovative technological advancements in tyres may help mitigate dissatisfaction due to commonly cited problems, such as damage due to punctures.
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Press release from J D Power