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Good & Bad for Kawasaki

Chart-
http://www.jdpower.com/autos/ratings/motorcycles

Press release: http://www.jdpower.com/press-releases/pressrelease.aspx?id=2006297

New-Motorcycle Owners Experience Fewer Problems with Their Bikes

Brands that Typically Use Multi-line Dealerships Continue to Struggle in Satisfying Customer Needs When it Comes to the Sales and Service Experience

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.: 20 December 2006 — Owners of new 2006 model-year motorcycles are reporting fewer problems with their bikes than they have in the past, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2006 Motorcycle Competitive Information StudySM released today.

The study, now in its 9th year, measures ownership experience with new motorcycles and examines the five major components of the overall ownership experience: product; quality; cost of ownership; sales; and service.

Owners report an average of 159 problems per 100 (PP100) motorcycles in the 2006 study—improving significantly from 199 PP100 in 2005. Engine-related problems account for 65 PP100, or 41 percent of the total average problems reported, which is also an improvement since 2005. A lower PP100 score reflects better quality.

“The motorcycle industry is improving in terms of quality,” said Tim Fox, research supervisor at J.D. Power and Associates. “But while the number of problems reported has declined, the expectations relating to quality have increased. Quality in the motorcycle industry, like in the automobile industry, is becoming the price of entry. There are other issues—such as the sales and service experience, the ride and handling, and the styling and performance of the bike—that are increasingly important in creating a competitive advantage.”

BMW, Harley-Davidson and Victory perform well relative to the dealership experience in terms of both sales and service. The brands with predominately single-line dealers greatly outperform those with multi-line dealers on sales and service satisfaction.

“It is much more difficult for multi-line dealers to have a consistent sales and service process for each brand they sell than it is for dealers who sell only one brand,” said Fox. “Therefore, it is in the best interest of the OEMs to either increase the number of single-line dealers or find a way to emulate the processes at these single-line dealers that lead to higher levels of satisfaction. The bottom line is the consumer does not care about the issues a multi-line dealer faces – the consumer simply expects the dealer to perform at a high level on sales and service regardless of the type or brand of dealership.”

From a product standpoint, Victory has performed well in meeting the needs of its customers in the cruiser and touring segments. Victory receives high ratings from their owners in the product factor, which includes styling, engine and transmission, controls, comfort and performance.

Among the 10 motorcycle brands included in the study, Honda and Suzuki perform particularly well in the quality factor.

“The quality performance of Honda is noteworthy, as their diverse product lines make it even more challenging to maintain high levels of quality across the board,” said Fox. “The good news is that from an industry perspective, the gap between manufacturers with respect to quality continues to narrow.”

Satisfaction with the overall cost of ownership has improved significantly since 2005, but it is still an area of great dissatisfaction. Given the importance of this factor to overall product satisfaction, brands that improve could gain a noticeable competitive advantage. Brands performing well on the cost of ownership factor include Buell, Kawasaki, Triumph and Victory.

The study also finds that having a positive sales experience is extremely important to the overall ownership experience. Consumers who are very satisfied with their sales experience are significantly more likely to both recommend and repurchase the same make.

The service experience for motorcycle owners is heavily influenced by the success rate of repair work performed. Owners who took their bike in for a repair rate their service experience much higher if the work was done right the first time, compared with owners whose problem was not remedied on the first attempt.

The 2006 Motorcycle Competitive Information Study includes responses from 6,916 owners who purchased new on-road motorcycles between September 2005 and May 2006. Owners were surveyed in September and October, 2006.
 

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The brands with predominately single-line dealers greatly outperform those with multi-line dealers on sales and service satisfaction.
Could it be because they don't have to sell as many bikes to keep all their suppliers happy? Or maybe because dealers only need to know specs on part of the market that's out there? Or perhaps once a dealer goes multi-line they've already stepped into the Wal-Mart mentality and are just looking to move bikes as hard and as fast as they can, carrying everything they can get under the roof.

The study also finds that having a positive sales experience is extremely important to the overall ownership experience. Consumers who are very satisfied with their sales experience are significantly more likely to both recommend and repurchase the same make.
Adding that makes me wonder if part of the dissatisfaction involved is due to people walking into a multi-line dealer not knowing WHAT they want, just that they want a bike, and then getting steered into whatever the dealer wants to move. I know not everyone can be guided and swayed, but not everyone buys a bike for the same reason. There are plenty who want a new shiny bike to impress everyone else - then the newness slowly wears off and they're left with a not so new bike and a big, fat bill.

Among the 10 motorcycle brands included in the study, Honda and Suzuki perform particularly well in the quality factor.
It's surprising to see Suzuki mentioned as a quality near Honda. I'd never heard anything to that effect before, perhaps they're stepping up their game.
 

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MrSciTrek said:
Good & Bad for Kawasaki
The study also finds that having a positive sales experience is extremely important to the overall ownership experience. Consumers who are very satisfied with their sales experience are significantly more likely to both recommend and repurchase the same make.
For myself and most of people I know that ride this statement is far from truth. I have to agree with Nick D that this relates far more to those who go in looking to purchase a bike with no idea what they are looking for. Typically this relates back to people purchaseing the bike as more of a status symbol or something pretty and shiny to impress people.

MrSciTrek said:
Good & Bad for Kawasaki
The service experience for motorcycle owners is heavily influenced by the success rate of repair work performed. Owners who took their bike in for a repair rate their service experience much higher if the work was done right the first time, compared with owners whose problem was not remedied on the first attempt.
I have to give this one a NO ****! Isn't everyone happier when things are done right the first time regardless of what it is? Even when you do it yourself your happier when it's done right the first time. It sucks when you have to spend another time and 1/2 to undo what you did and do it right. We are always happier when things go right the first time.
 

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bhd1223 said:
Isn't everyone happier when things are done right the first time regardless of what it is? Even when you do it yourself your happier when it's done right the first time. It sucks when you have to spend another time and 1/2 to undo what you did and do it right. We are always happier when things go right the first time.
Doing it right the first time on my own > Doing it right the 10th time on my own > Getting it done right the first time when paying for it > Peeing on an electric fence > Getting it done right the 10th time when paying for it.

Part of the success (failure) rate falls on the customer who walks in and can only say, "My bike makes this noise: clickclickclickbangclickclunk." And then you have a shop that sells 5 different brands of bike with 2 mechanics who are supposed to know everything about every bike. Makes me wonder if the ones who are unhappy with their purchasing experience are the same ones who're upset with their repair experience.

And then there's the possibility that a multi-line dealership owner who has shifted toward the Wal-Mart mentality only wants to pay his techs as little as possible. As good help is hard to find I'd wonder if that's really a factor, though. I may also be overgeneralizing the article since it's not really saying multi-line dealers were directly tied to the sub-par service in their survey.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Sick 'em, guys! That all sounds plausible to me.

Wonder if that site has a place where you can make comments?
If so... consider doing a cut & paste entry.
 

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Haha. Nice. So ya. When I think back to it I really can't think of any more than 1 dealership I know of that sells more than 1 brand of motorcycle. The single motorcycle line dealerships to tend to sell a few different brand of atv's and snowmobiles though. The one dealership I think of that sells a variety is a Ducati, BMW, Triumph, KTM and Kawasaki. They are a great dealership though. Everyone who works there rides. They have very knowledgeable mechanics and the sales people are actually good people....and have experience...haha. Go figure.
 

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single line dealers will also be more likely to talk up a bike to get you to buy it. where as multi-line dealers have their jobs to think about if they go telling a customer a certain brand bike his job carries is CRAP.

I bought my bike from a multi-line dealer it carried (Honda, Suzuki, Kawasaki, Yamaha, and Victory, PLUS they sold used bikes of ANY brand)

The salesman seemed hesitant to talk up any bike when I was just doing some research, the suzuki gs500F was a little bit more money than the ninja, I decided on the ninja and then he finally said "That's what I would have picked, air cooled engines are a PITA."

New-Motorcycle Owners Experience Fewer Problems with Their Bikes
I'd hope so! that's why used bikes tend to cheaper.
 
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