Ongoing Costs Weigh Heavily on New-Vehicle Owners in Brazil, Particularly among Owners of Subcompact and Compact Models

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Two Volkswagen Models and One Honda Model Receive Segment Awards; Toyota Ranks Highest among Brands

SÃO PAULO: 28 July 2011 — Among vehicle owners in Brazil, cost is a particularly dissatisfying element of vehicle ownership, especially among owners of the smallest vehicles—subcompact and compact cars—according to the J.D. Power do Brasil 2011 Brazil Vehicle Ownership Satisfaction StudySM (VOSS) released today.

The inaugural study is based on actual vehicle owner evaluations of their vehicle and dealer across four measurements of satisfaction. In order of importance, they are cost of ownership (32%), including fuel consumption, insurance and maintenance/repair; vehicle appeal (28%), which includes performance, design, comfort and features; dealer service experience (22%); and vehicle quality and reliability (18%). Overall ownership satisfaction is reported as an index score based on a 1,000-point scale, with a higher score indicating higher satisfaction.

Overall satisfaction averages 736 in 2011, with vehicle owners indicating they are most satisfied with the quality and reliability of their vehicle (775, on average) and least satisfied with cost of ownership (691). Ownership cost satisfaction among subcompact and compact model owners is the lowest of all the vehicle segments examined in the study, averaging 670 and 691, respectively. In comparison, average cost of ownership satisfaction ranges between 703 and 726 among larger vehicle segments.

Sizable proportions of subcompact and compact model owners indicate they pay more than they expected for vehicle service, with nearly 19 percent of subcompact owners and compact owners saying their service expenditures were "much higher" than expected. Dissatisfaction with the costs of service and insurance are particularly strong.

"Owners of subcompact and compact models are spending a much higher proportion of their income on all of the costs associated with their vehicle—including fuel, repair and maintenance—than do owners of larger vehicle models," said Jon Sederstrom, director and country manager, J.D. Power do Brasil. "Collectively, owners of subcompact and compact models comprise 61 percent of the market in Brazil. For automakers, effectively managing expectations of these owners will be key to elevating satisfaction throughout the market."

According to J.D. Power, the Brazil new-vehicle market is projected to continue to grow rapidly in the coming years. Sales are projected to reach approximately 3.53 million units in 2011, compared with sales of 2.72 million units in 2008—representing an average annual growth rate of 9 percent during the past three years. In 2010, new-vehicle sales in Brazil surpassed sales in Germany, making Brazil the fourth-largest new-vehicle market in the world behind only China, the United States and Japan. By 2015, sales of new light vehicles are expected to exceed 5 million units. By 2018, sales are projected to reach 6 million units.

This rapid growth is attracting nameplates from Asia, which are investing aggressively in local manufacturing capacity and dealership networks to capitalize on Brazil’s market potential. As a result, the competitive landscape is changing and consumers are enjoying more choices than ever before.

"Vehicle owners in Brazil have an unprecedented array of choices and this new reality represents both an opportunity and a threat for established auto manufacturers," said Sederstrom. "Paying attention to the needs of new-vehicle buyers and consistently meeting these expectations throughout the ownership period is a precondition for customer retention and for maximizing the likelihood that existing owners will enthusiastically recommend their vehicle and dealer to their family, friends and work colleagues."

According to the study, Brazil vehicle owners who rate their overall ownership experience as highly satisfying (ratings of 9 or 10 on a 10-point satisfaction scale) are 2.8 times more likely to say they would definitely repurchase the same brand again, compared with owners who are less satisfied (ratings of 7 or 8).

The 2011 Brazil Vehicle Ownership Satisfaction Study ranks ownership satisfaction for individual vehicle models by segment, as well as automotive brands overall. Volkswagen ranks highest in two vehicle segments for the Gol G5 (subcompact car) and CrossFox (compact car). Also receiving a segment-level award is the Honda Civic (midsize car).

Toyota is the highest ranking brand in vehicle ownership satisfaction with an overall score of 808. Toyota performs particularly well in all four key measures. Following Toyota in the brand rankings are Honda (796) and Citroën (762).

The 2011 Brazil Vehicle Ownership Satisfaction Study is based on the evaluations more than 4,000 online interviews with Brazilian vehicle owners after an average of two years of ownership. The study was fielded in May 2011.

About J.D. Power do Brasil

Established in São Paulo in 2010, J.D. Power do Brasil conducts customer satisfaction research and provides market intelligence and performance analytics services in the automotive, wireless telecommunications and finance industries. Information regarding J.D. Power do Brasil and its products can be accessed through the Internet at

About J.D. Power and Associates

Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company with more than 40 years of experience operating in key business sectors providing market research, forecasting, performance improvement, social media and customer satisfaction insights and solutions. The company’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. Additional information is available at

About The McGraw-Hill Companies

Founded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies is a leading global financial information and education company that helps professionals and students succeed in the Knowledge Economy. With leading brands including Standard & Poor’s, McGraw-Hill Education, Platts energy information services and J.D. Power and Associates, the Corporation has approximately 21,000 employees with more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Sales in 2010 were $6.2 billion. Additional information is available at

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Karen Almeida – (11) 3037-3228 –
Heloisa Picos – (11) 3037-3226 –

John Tews; J.D. Power and Associates; Troy, Mich. U.S.A; (248) 312-4119;

No advertising or other promotional use can be made of the information in this release without the express prior written consent of J.D. Power and Associates. J.D. Power and Associates press releases and media information can also be accessed at

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