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J.D. POWER AND ASSOCIATES INVESTIGATES TIRE PURCHASES AND CONSUMER LOYALTY

 J.D. POWER AND ASSOCIATES INVESTIGATES
 TIRE PURCHASES AND CONSUMER LOYALTY
 AGOURA HILLS, Calif., Aug. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Is customer satisfaction an issue when consumers purchase new tires for their vehicle? While possibly not a burning question for most consumers, it is a critical issue for tire manufacturers. J.D. Power and Associates surveyed more than 31,000 original owners of 1987 and 1988 cars to determine their satisfaction with the "how" and "why" of their tire replacement process. The results of this inaugural study placed nine brands above the industry average with Michelin at the top.
 The study dramatically emphasizes how important it is for tire manufacturers to create customer satisfaction because tire brands with high satisfaction also tend to receive high repurchase intention. Results show that car owners don't display a high degree of loyalty when it comes time to replace their original tires. Only 37 percent of the respondents indicated that they purchased the same brand of tires that they replaced. In addition, only 33 percent reported that they plan to remain loyal when it comes time to replace tires again.
 Analysis found that two distinct types of tire buyers exist. They are the "Bargain Hunters" and the "Image Buyers." Each group displays unique behavioral tendencies. Bargain Hunters are those who based their purchase decision on price-driven issues such as low price, sale and rebates. Image Buyers on the other hand based their purchase on more performance oriented issues such as reputation, past experience, style and personal recommendations. Each group presents unique challenges for tire manufacturers as each reports significantly different satisfaction levels and repurchase intentions.
 According to Steve Goodall, partner in charge of the Detroit office of J.D. Power and Associates, "The tire industry is one of many on the cusp of the customer satisfaction revolution. Tire manufacturers must begin to focus more and more attention on creating customer satisfaction among their owners. The results of this study show that living up to the high expectations of owners in the areas of both product and service is a must if manufacturers hope to build owner loyalty."
 In rank order the tire brands above industry average are: Michelin, Big O, Armstrong, Pirelli and Bridgestone (tied for fourth), Cooper, BF Goodrich, Toyo and Uniroyal. The 1992 Replacement Tire Study is one part of J.D. Power and Associates expanding efforts to serve the tire industry by focusing on owner perceptions and behavior during the tire replacement process. These efforts will continue in late August with the release of the fourth annual Original Equipment (OE) Tire Satisfaction Study which measures the consumer's satisfaction with their original tires after one year of vehicle ownership.
 J.D. Power and Associates is an international marketing information firm with headquarters in Agoura Hills, and offices in Detroit, Tokyo and Westport, Conn. The firm is best known for its marketing information and consulting in


the areas of consumer opinion and customer satisfaction.
 -0- 8/18/92 R
 /CONTACT: Chance Parker, 313-362-3555, or Patricia A. Patano, 818-889-6330, both of J.D. Power and Associates/ CO: J.D. Power and Associates ST: California IN: AUT SU:


BP-EH -- LA015R -- 1202 08/19/92 08:20 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 19, 1992
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