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Vehicle interiors gain importance in J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2012 study
While low maintenance costs and the overall reliability factor have been major areas of focus with vehicle rating agencies here in India, it appears that new-vehicle satisfaction is increasingly being driven by its interiors as per data released in a recent J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2012 India Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study. The India APEAL Study now in its 14th year based on feedback from umpteen new car owners in the country was able to assess their satisfaction levels during the first two months of ownership.
Performance data across categories like the vehicle’s exteriors , interiors (storage and space; audio, entertainment, navigation, seats, heating, ventilation and air conditioning), driving safety and fuel economy was collated as an index score based on a 1,000-point scale, with a higher score indicating higher satisfaction.
What surfaced as result of this study was that during the past four years, the impact of the vehicle interior on overall satisfaction has increased consistently, particularly in the two fastest-growing vehicle segments in India - small car (which includes entry compact, compact and premium compact cars) and utility vehicles (which includes MUV/ MPVs, SUVs and vans).
However, visibility and driving safety, followed by fuel economy, continue to be the leading drivers of satisfaction among new-vehicle owners in India. The interior factor has experienced a 28-point improvement compared with 2009, and an 8-point improvement over 2011.