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J.D. Power Asia Pacific Reports: Michelin Ranks Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Winter Tires in Japan


23 May 2006

TOKYO: — For a third consecutive year, Michelin ranks highest in satisfying customers in Japan with their winter tires, according to the J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2006 Japan Winter Tire Customer Satisfaction Index (W-TSI) StudySM released today.

The study, now in its third year, measures five factors to determine customer satisfaction with winter tires: tire performance on snow-covered road conditions, icy road conditions and regular road conditions, as well as tire appearance and tire quality/durability.

Among the seven tire brands included in the study, Michelin ranks highest with an overall index score of 655 on a 1,000-point scale—73 points higher than the industry average. Michelin receives the highest ratings from its customers in all five factors that determine satisfaction, performing particularly well in appearance, performance on regular road conditions and quality/durability. Bridgestone follows Michelin in the rankings with an index score of 602 points. Bridgestone receives particularly high ratings for performance on icy and snow-covered road conditions.

The study also finds regional differences in how customers rate their satisfaction with winter tires. Customers in Hokkaido, a region in Japan with heavy snowfall, are the most satisfied with their winter tire performance when compared to customers in other regions. Satisfaction scores in Hokkaido are higher than the nationwide average in all five factors. By comparison, in Tohoku and Koshinetsu/Hokuriku, which are also regions with heavy snowfall, customers report significantly low satisfaction scores with winter tire performance on snow-covered and icy road conditions. Additionally, in the Tokyo Metropolis region where it snows less, customers report high satisfaction ratings with winter tire performance on snow-covered and icy road conditions, but report low satisfaction scores on regular road conditions.

Forty-three percent of winter tire customers report a problem with their tires. Poor traction on icy roads is the leading problem and is experienced by 45 percent of customers. Among customers who almost experienced an accident while driving with winter tires, approximately 60 percent cite having poor traction on icy road conditions. In regions with heavy snowfall, including Hokkaido, Tohoku and Koshinetsu/Hokuriku, 58 percent of customers report poor traction. Inversely, only 35 percent of customers cite the problem in other regions.

“In order to raise customer satisfaction with winter tires, tire manufacturers should carry out product planning and tire development while taking into account the actual environment in which customers use these tires,” said Uchida. “This emphasis is critical for manufacturers to encourage strong customer satisfaction, which in turn creates brand loyalty and boosts repurchase intent among consumers.”

The 2006 Japan Winter Tire Customer Satisfaction Index Study is based on 3,400 responses from customers who purchased winter tires for their private passenger vehicle (new or used) and used the tires during the most recent winter.

About J.D. Power Asia Pacific
J.D. Power Asia Pacific, established in 1990, conducts customer satisfaction research and provides consulting services in the automotive, information technology and finance industries. Information regarding J.D. Power Asia Pacific and its products can be accessed through the Internet at Media e-mail contact:

About J.D. Power and Associates
Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is an ISO 9001-registered global marketing information services firm operating in key business sectors including market research, forecasting, consulting, training and customer satisfaction. The firm’s quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

About The McGraw-Hill Companies
Founded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies is a leading global information services provider meeting worldwide needs in the financial services, education and business information markets through leading brands such as Standard & Poor’s, McGraw-Hill Education, BusinessWeek and J.D. Power and Associates. The Corporation has more than 290 offices in 38 countries. Sales in 2005 were $6.0 billion. Additional information is available at

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