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Quality of new vehicles improving in India, says report

Experts have predicted that India’s rapidly growing automotive industry will, in a few years’ time, overtake that of Japan and Germany to become the third largest in the world. And in accordance with the same, new vehicle quality is slowly but certainly improving.

JD power, in its latest report, claims that the number of problems reported per 100 vehicles (PP10) by new-vehicle owners has dropped over the past five years, with declines reported in all categories except heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC). Overall, initial quality averages 95 PP100 in 2017, a noticeable improvement from 115 PP100 back in 2013.

The 2017 study is based on responses from 8,578 new-vehicle owners who purchased their vehicles between November 2016 and July 2017. The sample size includes 83 models from 17 makes. It was fielded from May through September in 40 cities. Studies like these also have some predefined guidelines. The 2017 India Initial Quality Study (IQS) measures problems faced by new-vehicle owners during the first two to six months of ownership and examines more than 200 problem symptoms in eight categories. These are – engine/ transmission, HVAC, driving experience, vehicle exterior, features, controls and displays, vehicle interior, audio, entertainment and navigation and seats.

The report reveals that problems reported by vehicle owners are decreasing as the overall quality of manufacturing improves. On the other hand non-mechanical problems occurring from inability to understand infotainment technology is increasing.

Here are the main observations from the study:

Problems related to engine/transmission still the highest reported. However, the average of reported cases has gone down from 39 problems in 2013 to 30 problems in 2017.

The average number of problems reported under the HVAC category has gone up from 15 in 2013 to 22 in 2017.

Over the five year period, the rate of improvement for diesels is much higher than that of the petrol models.

The number of problems reported under the AEN category remains same in 2017 as it was in 2013. However, the type of problems have changed to: “difficult to understand, use of bluetooth, hands-free communication, touchscreen displays, and navigation.” Owners who received detailed explanations on how to use what in their vehicle reported fewer problems than the ones who didn’t.

In the upper compact car segment, the highest rank (which means the least number of problems reported) was shared between the Ford Figo and the Hyundai Grand i10 each.

In the midsize sedan segment, or the C-segment, the Honda City and the Hyundai Verna tied at the top spot.

The Hyundai Creta and the Maruti Suzuki S-Cross jointly took the top spot in the SUV segment.

Two Toyota products received awards: the Etios in the entry midsize sedan segment and the Innova Crysta in the MUV/MPV segment. Unsurprisingly, two Maruti Suzuki products topped their respective segments. The Alto 800came first in the entry compact segment, and, the Wagon R brushed away the competition to top the charts in the compact segment.

In the premium compact segment, the Volkswagen Polo/Cross Polo/Polo GT bagged the top place.

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