JD’s 2011 Interior Satisfaction Study

Published by Nadeem Muaddi on September 21st, 2011

According to JD Power & Associate’s 2011 Interior Quality and Satisfaction Study, more than two-thirds of the problems reported by new car owners reflect dissatisfaction with the design of their vehicles’ interior features.

While that’s unfortunate for automakers and new car owners, it does present interesting opportunities for auto trimmers. Providing solutions to customers’ complaints can help us generate more business and expand our customer base.

For every 100 vehicles, new car owners report an average of 17.2 problems with the interior. On average, 11.6 of those problems relate to design – such as surfaces that scuff easily, problems with the center console and gadgets that are either hard to use or set in awkward places.

Allan Dix, research director at JD Power, explains why this is such a problem for automakers:

The vehicle interior plays an important role in overall owner satisfaction with the vehicle, as well as with the initial purchase decision. In fact, more than one-half of new-vehicle buyers cite interior comfort as one of the most important factors in choosing a vehicle.

As a result, it’s crucial to improve on interior design issues—such as difficulty using the center console or door locks—as these are issues that can really make a difference to the overall vehicle ownership experience. [read more]

So how can auto trimmers use this information?

JD’s study reveals what aspects of interior design customers are most dissatisfied with. Our auto trim shops can use this information to shape the types of services that we provide. While some of their complaints – like the difficulty of using door locks – may be beyond our scope, other issues – like replacing subpar materials and building better center consoles – aren’t.

We can even use this information to grow our existing customer base. In addition to marketing our services to current vehicle owners (which we already do), we can partner with dealerships to market our services to potential new car buyers.

For instance, the study reveals that 69% of folks who buy American-made cars report problems with their interiors. A smart move on our part would be to visit local Chevy, Ford and Dodge dealerships to ask how we could be of service to their customers. Smart dealers who are looking to sell more cars can partner with us to find solutions to their customers’ worries.

I know that you’re worried that the driver seat doesn’t offer much support, but I know a great auto trimmer who can take care of that for you before you sign a thing.

They sell more cars, our businesses grow and everybody wins…

We want to hear from you: Do you already work closely with local dealerships? What’s your relationship like? Can you provide other auto trim shops with tips on how to forge working relationships with local dealers?

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