JD Power’s Vehicle Owner Satisfaction Survey 2013

JD Power’s Vehicle Owner Satisfaction Survey (VOSS) is the UK’s best known automotive survey. 2013’s results, based on a sample of 16,000 people, were published last month by Whatcar? magazine.

What Car? JD Power 2013 - Infographic

Whilst it is billed as being the ultimate guide to car ownership, for me it always poses more questions than answers. Small differences in performance from the top (83%) to bottom (70.2%) limit the survey’s usefulness.

If the worst car available on the market really gets 7 out of 10 from its owner, and the best 8 out of 10, you start asking questions about methodology. Overemphasis on the ephemerally termed “driver appeal” is perhaps to blame – it accounts for a third of the score.

I’d rely on expert reviews if I was buying a new motor.

Perhaps the main benefit of the survey is to encourage manufacturers to raise their game. Reliability niggles that might otherwise receive no publicity are flagged.

League table envy, now that focuses the mind.

About Simon Shaw

I'm a Director at an insight consultancy. I'm interested in marketing, market research & consumer psychology. The views expressed are not necessarily those of my employer.
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3 Responses to JD Power’s Vehicle Owner Satisfaction Survey 2013

  1. Paul Hitchcock says:

    Where do you get your “expert” view from? IMHO not from motoring journalists in the mainstream publications! There is too much received opinion of the “never mind the engineering just stroke the plastic” in such sources. The great advantage of the J.D. Power survey is that it goes directly to the customer and is conducted by a research organisation not quite so tied in with motor manufacturers as some motoring journalists seem to be. Some of the results obviously conflict with the “party line” of What Car? which is funny.

    Yes, one should approach such surveys with caution but I think this is abour the best of them

    • Simon Shaw says:

      Hello Paul

      I see your point about Journalists – I’ve read some eye watering reviews of ‘upstart’ far eastern brands for example. Avoiding the party line is useful.

      My feeling is that when you’re trying to narrow down options where there is a huge amount of choice, you need guidance. Best in class being 8/10 and worst being 7/10 makes it hard to separate good from bad.


      • Paul Hitchcock says:

        The results are indeed very close but in the sector I have personal experience of, namely the supermini, this J.D. Power survey puts two vehicles way out in front. This result accords with my own experience and that of people I know and have an opinion of. Except for Top Gear magazine it is not a result motoring periodicals would be likely to espouse, although things may be different as a result of this!

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