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J.D. POWER AND ASSOCIATES ANNOUNCES MEDIUM-DUTY TRUCK CUSTOMER SATISFACTION STUDY RESULTS

 AGOURA HILLS, Calif., Jan. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- J.D. Power and Associates reported today that Volvo's medium-duty truckline ranked highest overall in the 1992 J.D. Power and Associates Medium-Duty Truck Customer Satisfaction Study(SM). The study provides manufacturers with measurements of relative levels of customer satisfaction with product quality, product performance and dealer service during the first 18 months of ownership.
 Overall, five medium-duty trucklines exceeded the industry average of 100. Volvo ranked highest with an index score of 118. Nissan UD ranked a close second with a score of 117, followed by Mitsubishi Fuso, registering a score of 114. International (112) and Isuzu (103) rounded out the medium-duty truck manufacturers ranking above the industry average. Eight medium-duty truck manufacturers ranked below the industry average. J.D. Power and Associates does not release rankings of manufacturers or models ranking below industry average.
 "Maximizing customer satisfaction is not a goal exclusive to the personal vehicle sector. It has played, and will continue to play, an increasingly important role in the commercial vehicle arena as well," said J.D. Power III, founder and president of J.D. Power and Associates. "The successful companies, now and in the future, are the ones keen enough to recognize that customer satisfaction is an increasingly important way of sustaining a competitive advantage."
 The independent study defines the medium-duty truck market as Class 5, 6 and 7 trucks, Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) of 16,001 lbs. to 33,000 lbs. In addition to ranking highest overall, Volvo was the best Class 7 medium-duty truck. Nissan was the best Class 5 medium- duty truck, and Isuzu was the best medium-duty truck in Class 6.
 "Meeting and exceeding customer expectations can only be accomplished by understanding the latent forces driving customer satisfaction," said Power. "There is a distinct correlation between customer satisfaction and repurchase intent."
 The 2,799 principal maintainers of 1990 model-year medium-duty trucks responding to this year's survey determined that five important categories determine customer satisfaction. "Vehicle Performance" and "Service Timeliness" each constitute 25 percent of medium-duty truck owners' satisfaction. The "Vehicle Downtime" and the "Service Attitude & Quality" categories are each representative of 20 percent of customer satisfaction. And the "Service Capabilities" category accounts for 10 percent of customer satisfaction.
 An interesting finding in the study is that no single manufacturer dominated all five customer satisfaction categories. Volvo ranked highest in the "Vehicle Performance Measure," which covers ratings on the truck's hill-climbing ability when fully loaded, acceleration, ease of operation for drivers, overall engine performance and whether vehicle specifications are well-matched to the job it has to perform.
 International captured the top spot in both the "Service Timeliness Measure" and the "Service Capabilities Measure." The "Service Timeliness" category is based on ratings of the ease of ordering OEM parts, the hours that the service department is open, level of training mechanics, and the helpfulness of parts personnel. The "Service Capabilities Measure" consists of ratings on key dealer attributes like availability of proper tools and equipment, cost of labor, location of service outlet, cost of parts and the number of mechanics to do the work.
 The "Vehicle Downtime Measure" is based on the number of problems experienced and ratings for unscheduled downtime. Nissan UD notched the highest score on this measure. Nissan UD also achieved the highest ranking in the "Service Attitude & Quality Measure" which includes measures of the friendliness of service staff, quality of work performed, helpfulness of service adviser, explanation of service charges, and satisfaction with recent service experience.
 J.D. Power and Associates is an international marketing information firm with headquarters in Agoura Hills. The firm has offices in Detroit; Torrance, Calif.; Westport, Conn.; and Tokyo. The firm is best known for its marketing information in the areas of consumer opinion and customer satisfaction.
 -0- 1/19/93
 /CONTACT: Patricia A. Patano or Jim Olson of J.D. Power and Associates, 818-889-6330/


CO: J.D. Power and Associates ST: California IN: AUT SU:

LS-KJ -- LA008 -- 6119 01/19/93 08:03 EST
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Date:Jan 19, 1993
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