Buick placed below average in the international brands ranking of the J.D. Power 2023 China New Energy Vehicle Customer Experience Value Index study, which measures customer satisfaction with tech features in “new energy vehicles” or NEVs in the Chinese automotive market.
The Tri-Shield brand scored 771 points on the 1,000-point customer experience scale, putting it lower than the 779-point segment average. Only Mercedes-Benz and Tesla scored above average in the international brands, ranking at 794 and 788 points respectively.
The average score for all NEVs in China, including both domestic brands and international competitors like Buick, is just 770 points. This represents a significant drop from the 796-point average last year, showing that new energy vehicle buyers are becoming less satisfied with new models over time.
The study combines scores in several different areas, including the buying process, use of the vehicle, and later service. The process of purchasing a NEV is the least satisfactory part of ownership according to the study’s findings. It includes showroom experience, delivery, and several other steps of acquiring a new vehicle. Direct sales were the best-rated sales technique, since
Service provides a medium level of satisfaction, while buyers of NEVs, including those from Buick, find the highest satisfaction from actual usage of their purchased vehicle. However, satisfaction scores are declining sharply across the board.
The study’s methodology involved surveying the satisfaction levels of NEV owners during their first two to 12 months owning the vehicle. Owners included those who made NEV purchases between April 2022 and March 2023. Owners of mid-priced vehicles proved somewhat more willing to provide information (35 percent) than those with inexpensive (30 percent) or high-priced (31 percent) vehicles.
The study used responses from 5,059 individuals in total, with respondents hailing from 81 different Chinese cities. 49 NEV brands, including both domestic manufacturers and foreign ones such as Buick, were assigned ratings in the study. J.D. Power’s purpose was to create a useful measure of NEV satisfaction to enable automakers to better meet customer expectations.
Despite falling short of the international NEV segment’s already plunging average score, Buick achieved a new EV sales record in China during July 2023 with purchases amounting to 8,692 units. Sales were primarily driven by the success of the recently launched, all-new Electra model family.
Buick plans to continue the expansion of its electric vehicle range in China, with the Electra E5 Avenir launching in August, the Electra E4 line having a third-quarter release, and more Ultium-based crossovers reportedly on the way.