The J.D. Power 2017 Seat Quality and Satisfaction Study provides automotive manufacturers and suppliers with quality and satisfaction information related to seating systems.
New-vehicle owners are asked to rate the quality of their vehicle’s seats and seat belts with respect to whether they have experienced defects/malfunctions or design problems during the first 90 days of ownership.
The study presents seven segment awards based on the J.D. Power vehicle segment designations: mass market compact car; mass market compact SUV/MPV; mass market midsize/large car; mass market midsize/large SUV; mass market truck/van; luxury car; and luxury SUV.
For each segment, the award for Highest Quality Seats is based exclusively on the total seat problems per 100 (PP100) score (seat quality within segment). Awards are presented to the seating system supplier.
The 2017 Seat Quality and Satisfaction Study is based on responses from more than 77,000 purchasers and lessees of new 2017 model-year cars and light trucks registered in November-December 2016 and January-February 2017. The study was fielded from February through May.
Magna earned the most honors, leading the categories with seats for the Audi A3, Ford Escape and Ford Edge.
The interactions between dealers and frontline personnel working in the lender's credit department are crucial to the relationship between the two, according to the J.D. Power 2017 U.S. Dealer Financing Satisfaction Study.
For non-captive, captive luxury and captive mass market lenders, the credit desk represents more than half of the survey weight for overall satisfaction, compared with the impact of sales representatives. Overall, the dealer/lender relationship outweighs application and approval process, lender offerings and lease return as the single most important variable associated with high levels of dealer satisfaction.
Dealers overwhelmingly indicate that the credit desk is their first point of contact when looking to resolve problems, far outpacing sales representatives, sales support staff and regional managers. As such, dealer satisfaction with sales reps is highest when reps focus on portfolio performance review, dealership performance consulting and customer retention vs. problem resolution and training.
The optimal dealer communications mix for lenders involves a predictable cadence of monthly visits paired with weekly calls and emails. When touch points outside of these preferred parameters are used, overall satisfaction with sales reps falls by as much as 30 index points (on a 1,000-point scale).
ClearVin, and J.D. Power Valuation Services (formerly known as NADA Used Car Guide), have recently agreed on a deal that will make the selling and buying of used vehicles much easier for automotive dealers and wholesalers.
NADA Values included in the history report cover retail, trade-in, auction and loan values.
ClearVin reports provide vehicle specifications along with accident history, salvage and total loss events submitted by insurance companies across all 50 states. Additionally, reports provide title history data, retail, trade-in and loan values, recall history, and any outstanding and past liens that were placed against the vehicle.
CarRecord, the Asia-Pacific region's foremost vehicle history report product, will soon be available for the U.S. market.
The reports will provide customers with NADA Values from J.D. Power Valuation Services. J.D. Power uses auction and retail sales transactions – and then reviews asking prices and other relevant information—to accurately value vehicles.
Autotrader experts have identified 10 CPO luxury and 10 CPO non-luxury “Must-Shop CPO Cars” that offer a look similar to their brand-new counterparts with affordable pricing and a manufacturer-backed warranty.
Criteria used for CPO luxury vehicles: a retail price of approximately $65,000 or less; a manufacturer-backed certified warranty must have a minimum of 6 years or 100,000 miles of total powertrain coverage included in the purchase price; similar look to a current new car.
Criteria used for CPO non-luxury vehicles: a retail price of approximately $40,000 or less; manufacturer-backed certified warranty must have a minimum of 5 years or 100,000 miles of total powertrain coverage included in the purchase price; similar look to a current new car; vehicles must have an overall federal government safety rating of at least 4 out of 5 stars.
J.D. Power has debuted J.D. Power Residual Values, a benchmark product for vehicle residual values.
Designed as an information resource for vehicle manufacturers, captive finance companies and lenders, Residual Values incorporates sales transaction data gathered by the Power Information Network (PIN) from J.D. Power (representing more than 40 percent of franchised dealer retail sales transactions in America); the J.D. Power/National Auto Auction Association AuctionNet service (accounting for more than 80 percent of auto auction transactions); and proprietary J.D. Power Voice of the Customer data.
Residual Values is the first all-new product introduced under the newly created Data & Analytics Division of J.D. Power. The unit includes J.D. Power Valuation Services, formerly known as NADA Used Car Guide.
Three of every four car buyers didn't even consider buying an SUV, according to the J.D. Power 2017 Auto Avoider Study.
Only 24 percent of car buyers considered buying an SUV in a year in which total retail sales of SUVs comprised 42 percent of the market. Only five years ago, SUVs made up just 34 percent of the market.
SUV buyers are more likely to purchase their vehicle for its cargo capacity, compared with car buyers (42 percent vs. 20 percent, respectively); 4WD/AWD capability (48 percent vs. 9 percent); and safety (45 percent vs. 38 percent
Car buyers who rejected the SUVs they shopped at a dealer did so primarily due to a higher price and a desire for better gas mileage. Conversely, SUV buyers who shopped for cars rejected the cars because they were too small, lacked the desired cargo capacity and lacked 4WD/AWD capability.
Tirty-eight percent of SUV buyers report never before owning the brand of their new SUV, a higher number than for car, pickup and minivan buyers.
Compact SUVs, the largest-volume segment in the industry, are the most shopped or considered vehicles in the market—and also have one of the industry's highest close rates. More than six in 10 new-vehicle buyers who shopped for a compact SUV actually bought a compact SUV. Three compact SUVs—Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and Ford Escape—are among the 10 most shopped/considered models by new-vehicle buyers.
Total new light-vehicle sales in 2016 are expected to reach a record 17.5 million vehicles, surpassing the previous high set in 2015 by 5,000 units, according to a forecast developed jointly by J.D. Power and LMC Automotive.
Retail sales in 2016 are forecast to close at 14.1 million units, a 1.2 percent decline from 14.2 million units in 2015, but still will be the sixth-highest retail sales year in history.
New-vehicle retail sales in December are projected to reach 1,332,800 units, a 0.8 percent increase on a selling-day adjusted basis compared with December 2015, while total light-vehicle sales are expected to reach 1,604,500 units, a 1.4 percent increase.
Incentive spending in November eclipsed $4,000 per unit for the first time on record. December, which typically delivers the highest incentive spending level of the year, is expected to exceed the November record as manufacturers clear out old model-year vehicles and reduce inventory.
Those looking for signs of trouble in automotive finance are finding plenty to point to these days.
Auto loan originations in the third quarter remained at the high levels seen over the past six quarters and comparable to the peak seen one year ago, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reports.
Despite the increase in originations, the overall ninety-plus day delinquency rate for auto loans increased only slightly in 2016 through the end of September to 3.6 percent.
However, the New York Fed’s analysis shows an underlying problem in those numbers.
The ninety-plus day delinquency rate for auto finance companies worsened by a full percentage point over the past four quarters, while delinquency rates for bank and credit unions have improved slightly.
Finance companies focus more on subprime consumers, most of whom are buying used.
“The worsening in the delinquency rate of subprime auto loans is pronounced, with a notable increase during the past few years,” states a recent blog post by the New York Fed.
Many auto creditors are increasing their provisions for loan losses, which are expected to rise even if delinquencies remain steady. This is because of a decline in wholesale prices.
Another issue facing finance is the growth in negative equity,
Even though the average monthly payment on used vehicle loans remains relatively flat from prior years, the share of consumers trading in a vehicle on which they still owe money has continued to rise, Edmunds.com reports.
"It's curious to see just how many of today's car shoppers are undeterred by how much they owe on their trade-ins," said Edmunds.com senior analyst Ivan Drury.
Many of these shoppers expect improving economic conditions in the near future, so they are unconcerned about negative equity, Drury said.
However, an increase in negative equity and tightening by auto creditors due to higher losses could put the brakes on car sales.
Take a look at the New York Fed analysis chart here.