US trends in customer satisfaction and distribution
J.D. Power and Associates recently released its Vehicle Performance Study, the fourth of its five-phase owner satisfaction program. Other studies that comprise this program are the companys well-known Customer Satisfaction with Dealer Service and Product Quality Study (CSI), and the Vehicle Dependability Study (VDI), Initial Quality Study (IQS) and Sales Satisfaction Study (SSI). The Vehicle Performance Study looks beyond the other studies' satisfaction ratings to examine vehicle owner expectations with respect to product performance, eighty-eight specific features and operating systems are evaluated for each model. To hep summarize overall performance, an index was developed the Vehicle perfomance Index or VPI. While most of the public focus for J.D. Power and Associates studies is on the indices and their respective rankings, most of the Vehicle Performance syudy's value is in the underlying information. This specific information provides the means for manufacturers to target improvement. In the paper presented, specific examples are given to illustrate some of the findings, including an in-depth review o t e impact on customer expectations on one major automobile maker's manufacturing and design process. During the closing remarks, an overview is given of industry trends in the United States Consolidation of dealerships as an immediate economic measure is examine, as we what that trend portends for the rest of the industry worldwide.
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