JD Power Tractor Study 2016: Dissatisfaction among owners with decreased performance and quality as expectations rose due to lower agricultural income
According to the JD Power Tractor Product Performance Index (PPI) Study, running for the second year, the performance and quality of the tractors sold have led to decrease in satisfaction among tractor owners as they expect longer reliability prompted by the dampened sentiments across all four segments with the woeful dip of agricultural sector.
The 2016 India Tractor Product Performance Index Study, fielded from August 2015 to January 2016, is based on experiences from 3,815 tractor owners across 14 Indian states and it includes newly purchased tractors between August 2013 and December 2014 from authorised dealerships.
The study has been conducted with reference to the tractor owners between 12 months and 24 months. The performance satisfaction was measured with two entities taken into account: 1. Machine Performance and 2. Quality and Reliability. The former index carefully evaluated under seven divisions, in the order of importance, namely hydraulic and couplings; driveability; engine and transmission; overall styling and design; driving comfort; tractor structure; and tyres.
The second criteria, Quality and Reliability, is dependent on buyers’ actual and perceived quality issues rating along with experiences. The entire tractor industry in India saw a slump of 39 points to 771 points on a 1,000 point scale in 2016 when compared to last year in terms of owners’ satisfaction with the performance of the products.
As the incomes from the agricultural industry is decreasing, tractor owners expect more from their products’ reliability and they have lower tolerance towards defects. Therefore, the tract manufacturers in the country are being put in a position to further improve their core performance and material quality.
The most common of issues encountered by the customers and were discovered from the study are gearshifts becoming harder upon use, noisy brake issues, excessive or uneven tyre wear, engine returning less mileage over time and bulb failures.
The Tractor Product Performance Index Study has listed Eicher as the best manufacturer below 31 hp segment and it achieved appreciable performance in all seven categories of the first criteria with an overall score of 787 points. John Deere took top honours in the rest of the categories: 31-40 hp, 41-50 hp and above 50 hp segments.
It gained 794 points in the 31-40 hp segment, 807 points in the 41-50 hp segment, and 821 points in the above 50 hp segments. Only 62% of tractor owners are satisfied with the overall owning experience in comparison with 69% in 2015.
Only 62% of tractor owners are pleased or delighted with the overall experience of owning their machines, compared with 69% in 2015. While 76% of highly satisfied customers would recommend their products, the hydraulics and coupling categories’ performance witnessed huge decline at 51 index points in the below 30 hp segment.
The 31-40 hp segment experienced 53 points drop in engine and transmission performances when compared to 2015. With 36 points slide, the driving comfort registered the lowest performance in the 41-40 hp segment amid performance of tractor structure enduring a 37 points drop in the above 50 hp segment.