Survey faults local carmakers’ quality

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Survey faults local carmakers’ quality

Domestic automakers are lagging behind their foreign rivals in terms of their cars’ initial quality, according to a survey conducted by local research group Marketing Insight.

The number of malfunctions reported by purchasers of domestic cars has sharply increased, with the report stating that local automakers are using buyers of new cars as “beta-testers.”

“We found that many local consumers are critical of domestic carmakers’ initial quality management,” the report said. “If this problem is not fixed, many consumers will purchase imported cars instead of domestic cars.”

Foreign automakers managed to maintain the initial quality of their products and showed an improved performance in the latest survey. For the past four years, the average number of problems reported regarding all imported cars was less than the nation’s best model.

The research was based on an e-mail survey that accrued data from more than 4,000 consumers who bought new cars and had used them for an average of three months.

The report said that new models from local automakers, which were released with design changes and other technical upgrades, had nearly twice as many malfunctions as the old models.

For the past two years, updatedmodels of local automakers saw an average of 223 reports of malfunctions, 64 percent more than existing makes. For the new models, an average of 290 problems were reported, 30 percent more than the full-changed models.

The report said that it is inevitable more problems are found in new vehicles compare to old ones, but the magnitude and quantity of the problems reported on new cars from local automakers are rising.

Marketing Insight said in the report that automakers are passing the responsibility of verifying cars’ initial problems to local consumers before shipping models overseas. According to the research, an average of 198 problems are found among local cars in Korea, but in the United States, the same products are reported to have only 107 initial quality problems.

With the nation’s automobile market turning into battle between domestic and imported cars, the research group said that local automakers needs to reconsider their management strategy.



By Joo Kyung-don [kjoo@joongang.co.kr]

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