JD Power Asia Pacific 2004 India Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) study ranks the redesigned Maruti Wagon-R highest with an index score of 796 in the premium compact segment, displacing the Hyundai Santro. The redesigned Maruti Zen is at No. 3.
The study states that owner’s delight with new vehicles in India improves for the sixth consecutive year. At 780 index points out of 1000, it has improved by 15 index points over 2003.
Mohit Arora, India Country Manager, JD Power Asia Pacific, said, “India continues to experience a steady flow of new and redesigned model launches, which has a positive impact on consumer appeal.” He added that the new styling and features of a model launch “is a manufacturer’s biggest opportunity in the model’s life cycle to excite owners”. With more than one-third of all models included in the 2004 study being new or redesigned, consumers have responded with high levels of satisfaction with the vehicles they purchased.
The Maruti Esteem ranks highest in the mid-size segment with an index score of 806. The Ford Ikon and Tata Indigo follow with scores of 785 and 771 respectively.
Toyota Corolla ranks highest in the premium mid-size segment and registers the highest APEAL score of 822 in the automobile industry. The recently launched Chevrolet Optra ranks second with 816 in the segment, followed by the Skoda Octavia.
The Tata Safari with 820 improves its score by 28 points over 2003 to rank highest in the MUV/SUV segment. Toyota Qualis and Mahindra Bolero follow the Safari. Interestingly, the study finds that the newly launched SUV models present significantly better APEAL performances than existing models.
Arora said, “Tata Safari ranks highest in the segment for the second consecutive year and receives one of the highest overall APEAL scores in the industry. However, going forward, the Safari is likely to face strong competition from the new SUVs launched recently, such as the Honda CR-V and Ford Endeavor.”
The study, now in its seventh year, measures owner delight in terms of design, content, layout and performance of new vehicles across eight specific categories during the first two to six months of ownership.