Business / Auto Quality

Quality in Chinese vehicles vastly improved: report

By Li Fusheng (China Daily) Updated: 2015-11-09 08:06

Chinese marques are improving their car quality and are primed to catch up with international auto brands in two years, according to consulting firm J.D. Power.

The firm's annual new car quality report shows that Chinese brands report 120 problems per 100 new vehicles, 22 problems more than the average international brand. Last year, the gap was 36 problems per 100 new vehicles.

The report is based on evaluations from 21,707 owners of new vehicles purchased between October 2014 and June 2015 in China, covering 270 models from 71 brands.

The largest gaps in quality between domestic and international brands are with engines or transmissions, exteriors and driving experiences, according to the report.

Substandard infrastructure in roads and a lack of driving experience are also issues for automakers in China, said Geoff Broderick, vice-president and general manager of Asia-Pacific automotive operations at J.D. Power.

"There are vast infrastructure variations between German, American and Chinese roads for instance. While China has impeccable infrastructure across tier-one markets, the variation across the country is quite large.

"In lower tier cities we see fewer reported problems, but this is predominately due to the fact that many more buyers are first-time buyers and do not know what they do not know about cars."

Broderick advised automakers to ensure that the voice of the customer is heeded and used in the manufacturing and distribution processes.

"Quality remains a top purchase consideration for consumers, and it is a must to get on a consumer's consideration list."

There are also design-related problems in such areas as audio, communications, entertainment and navigation systems, though J.D. Power said that is indicative of a maturing market.

Unpleasant smell in the interior of a vehicle was the most frequently reported and most severe problem this year for both international and Chinese brands, followed by excessive road noise, engines losing power when the air conditioning is on and excessive wind noise, according to the report.

"Whether a build problem or a design problem, if a consumer believes it is a problem, then it's a problem," said Broderick.

"Quality is a non-negotiable factor. There are no second chances with over 500 models for a consumer to choose from."

Besides improving car quality, he also urged automakers to offer better services. "Quality just gets you to the dance. To dance, you must also provide customers with a delightful ownership experience to earn their long-term trust and loyalty."


Hot Topics

Editor's Picks