Customers least satisfied with Tata cars, finds TNS survey

| | Updated on: Feb 24, 2011

Tata Motors' passenger cars across segments have ranked among the lowest in terms of customer satisfaction, according to a TNS Automotive Survey.

The Entry Compact segment product Tata Nano has been awarded the worst score of 70 across the entire study, while both the Tata Indigo Manza (84) and Tata Safari (78) have led from below in their respective Entry Midsize and SUV/MPV segments. Moreover, the Tata Sumo Grande (80) and the Tata Indica Vista have also ranked poorly in their own segments.

The 2010 four-wheeler Total Customer Satisfaction (TCS) survey by TNS represents responses of around 9,300 car buyers and covers 56 models with customer evaluations in the areas of sales satisfaction, product quality, vehicle performance and design, after sales service, brand image and cost-of-ownership. The TCS index score provides a measure of total satisfaction and loyalty a given model enjoys with its customers.

Overall basis

On an overall basis, the industry continued to provide a high level of customer satisfaction with a similar score of 90 over last year, even when the customers had to face long waiting periods for cars such as the Maruti Swift, the Hyundai i20, Volkswagen Polo and Toyota Fortuner. However, the SUV/MPV and Premium SUV segments showed a little improvement.

“Some traditionally strong models have seen a dip in scores this year. Interestingly, two of the first time evaluated models emerged as the top ones – the Volkswagen Polo in Upper Premium Compact jointly with Maruti Swift (93) and Volkswagen Passat in Entry Luxury. Thus, Volkswagen has done well in the small car segment otherwise ruled by Maruti and they are also beginning to compete with Honda in the bigger car segment.

The competition is getting intense is evident from the fact that in many of the segments the scores are very close and there are joint toppers in a number of segments,” said the study.

While Maruti Alto (91) led the Entry Compact segment, its other models the Zen Estilo and the A-Star (93) jointly topped the Premium Compact segment and the Swift Dzire (93) led the Entry Midsize segment. Meanwhile, the study jointly ranked the Honda City (96) and the Ford Fiesta the highest in the Midsize market, Toyota Corolla (100) best in the Premium Midsize. Toyota Innova and Mahindra Scorpio (99) jointly topped SUV/MPVs and the Honda CRV (104) led the Premium SUVs.

“In a year of high growth and long queues at the automotive dealerships the auto manufacturers maintained their poise and managed their processes to keep their customers satisfied. It was a challenge for the manufacturers to not only retain their waitlisted customers but to also keep them happy,” said Mr Pradeep Saxena, Executive Director, TNS Automotive.


The study added that customer expectations even at the bottom end were rising as the owners of th eNano expected more in terms of design and Maruti 800 owners wanted better servicing as the years go by. Also, car owners in Northern India are relatively less satisfied than in other parts of the country. “At the national level, the customers in the relatively larger cities are more satisfied than those in the smaller cities. This may be a reflection of the growing expectations in the smaller cities. The manufacturers will do well to understand those,” the study said.

Published on February 25, 2011

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