The increasing adoption of New Energy Vehicles (NEVs) in China is met with a concerning decline in customer experience satisfaction ratings, highlighting a substantial area of improvement for automakers. The Chinese branch of J.D. Power, renowned for its consumer insights, has unveiled its latest findings for this year, showcasing Zeekr's strong performance among local automakers and Mercedes-Benz's lead over international counterparts, even surpassing Tesla.
This comprehensive study meticulously assesses the experience of NEV purchasers during their first 2 to 12 months of ownership. The journey is dissected into three pivotal stages: the initial purchase, vehicle usage, and the after-sales service experience. Each stage is further compartmentalized into various finer aspects. For the current year's evaluation, insights were gathered from a pool of 5,059 NEV owners across 81 major Chinese cities. These owners had chosen vehicles from a diverse array of 49 brands.
Regrettably, the average customer satisfaction rating for the overall experience has witnessed a significant dip to 770 out of 1,000, marking a considerable 26-point reduction from the preceding year. This downward shift is primarily attributed to heightened consumer expectations from these innovative vehicles.
Among the domestically produced brands, Geely's Zeekr exhibited the highest satisfaction rating, scoring an impressive 792 points. Directly following, Deepal garnered a noteworthy 791 points, closely trailed by NIO at 789 points. In the realm of international automakers, Mercedes-Benz secured the lead with a robust score of 794, ahead of Tesla at 788 points and BMW at 778 points. Interestingly, fewer international brands outperformed their domestic counterparts, boasting an average of 779 points – a 27-point decrease – in comparison to domestic brands that averaged 768 points, marking a 23-point drop. Both local and international categories exhibited a decline in ratings from the previous year.
The significance of customer satisfaction for brands cannot be understated, as higher ratings equate to increased referrals and subsequently, augmented sales – a crucial aspect highlighted by J.D. Power China. Additionally, the report suggests that a direct sales model significantly enhances user experience during both the purchase and usage stages. Notably, mixed-sale brands excel in after-sales service, with first-time buyers reporting notably higher satisfaction rates in contrast to repeat purchasers or those making additional purchases.
As NEVs continue to gain traction in China's automotive landscape, automakers are faced with the imperative task of elevating customer experience satisfaction to maintain competitive advantage and foster sustainable growth.