Women Account for Nearly 1/4 of First-Time New-Motorcycle Owners
11 December 1998J.D. Power and Associates Reports: Women Account for Nearly One-Quarter of First-Time New-Motorcycle Owners in the United States
Asian Makes Excel in Product Quality, Whereas Non-Asian Makes Rank Highest in Overall Ownership Satisfaction AGOURA HILLS, Calif., Dec. 10 -- Women account for nearly one-quarter of first-time, new-motorcycle owners, according to the inaugural J.D. Power and Associates Motorcycle Competitive Information Study (MCIS)(SM). Nearly 40 percent of these women are college educated, more than half are married and nearly 80 percent ride cruiser motorcycles. The study, based on responses from more than 9,000 owners of new 1998 model year street and dual-sport motorcycles, includes all major makes and models sold in the United States. Overall results reveal that in terms of product quality, owners report fewer than average problems among Asian makes. However, non-Asian makes excelled in overall ownership satisfaction. In product quality, the Asian motorcycle manufacturers achieved an impressive score of 58 problems per 100 vehicles, compared to the industry average of 73. Non-Asian makes scored as many as 88 problems per 100, clearly pointing to a need for quality improvement. According to the study, there is an interesting correlation between the number of problems expected versus those actually experienced in the motorcycle and automotive industries. "New-motorcycle owners tend to feel that they have more problems than they anticipated compared to new-car owners despite the fact that motorcycles, in general, are less complex vehicles than cars," said Gil Niv, manager of motorcycle studies at J.D. Power and Associates. "The notion that motorcyclists are more inclined to tolerate quality problems because of their perceived enthusiasm may not hold true anymore." In overall ownership satisfaction, touring-bike owners reported the highest satisfaction ratings across the entire new-motorcycle ownership experience. This segment is followed by sport, standard, cruiser and dual- sport motorcycles, respectively. The study also ranks the product appeal of new motorcycles based on performance ratings, which include: cockpit and controls, looks and styling, ride and handling, seating and engine and transmission. Despite the fact that the cruiser segment has been a main driver for the strong growth in the motorcycle industry, it ranks toward the bottom of the list in product appeal. The highest-ranked segment in product appeal is sport motorcycles, followed by touring, standard, cruiser and dual sport, respectively. "While it is not surprising to find that touring and sport motorcycle owners offer the highest product-appeal ratings, low scores reported by cruiser bike owners point to an opportunity for improvement," said Niv. "Riders of sport and touring bikes are used to the high performance and exceptional handling standards and are expecting to find the latest technologies on their bikes. It appears that with cruiser motorcycles, manufacturers have been concentrating primarily on looks and style and may be neglecting to update the dynamic characteristics and functionality of these motorcycles." The study also reports on shopping behavior and satisfaction with the sales experience. While the industry average for Internet shopping is 17 percent among those searching for new motorcycles, owners of standard and sport bikes use the Internet for new motorcycle shopping twice as much. In the area of sales and service satisfaction, a clear distinction emerges between Asian and non-Asian motorcycle owners. Asian bike owners reported significantly lower ratings in their sales and service experiences. "We found that the low ratings given by Asian bike owners is a direct result of their dissatisfaction with the overall performance of the dealership personnel," said Niv. The Motorcycle Competitive Information Study provides detailed information on owner profiles, shopping behavior, satisfaction from sales and service experiences, product evaluation and meeting owner expectations. Headquartered in Agoura Hills, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services firm operating in key business sectors including market research, forecasting and customer satisfaction. The firm's quality and satisfaction measurements are based on actual customer responses from more than one million consumers annually. J.D. Power and Associates can be accessed through the World Wide Web at http://www.jdpower.com. Media e-mail contact: email@example.com. This press release is provided for editorial use only. No advertising or other promotional use can be made of the information in this release or J.D. Power and Associates survey results without the express prior written consent of J.D. Power and Associates. J.D. Power and Associates 1998 Motorcycle Competitive Information Study(SM) Quality Differences Among Asian and Non-Asian Manufacturers Asian: 58 Industry: 73 Non-Asian: 88 Problems Per 100 Motorcycles (PP100) Note: The lower the PP100 score, the better the quality J.D. Power and Associates 1998 Motorcycle Competitive Information Study(SM) Overall Ownership Experience % Satisfaction -- Excellent/Truly Outstanding Asian: 43% Industry: 46% Non-Asian: 49% J.D. Power and Associates 1998 Motorcycle Competitive Information Study(SM) Problems Experienced Motorcycle versus Light Vehicles Motorcycles: 29% - Less than I expected 52% - About what I expected 19% - More than I expected Cars and Trucks: 38% - Less than I expected 46% - About what I expected 15% - More than I expected Source: J.D. Power and Associates 1998 Motorcycle Competitive Information Study(SM) Charts and graphs extracted from this press release must be accompanied by a statement identifying J.D. Power and Associates as the publisher, and the J.D. Power and Associates 1998 Motorcycle Competitive Information Study(SM) as the source. No advertising or other promotional use can be made of the information in this release or J.D. Power and Associates survey results without the express written consent of J.D. Power and Associates.