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J.D. Power Offers Insight into Japanese Dealer Brand Perceptions

(Akron/Tire Review) Results of the inaugural “J.D. Power Asia Pacific Japan Auto Parts and Service Store Attitude Study – Tire” were released today.

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The study measures the measures the satisfaction of managers of auto parts and service stores for the sales and marketing activities of major tire brands, including Bridgestone, Dunlop, Goodyear, Michelin, Toyo and Yokohama. Conducted in June, the report is based on responses from 212 auto parts store managers or tire department managers of nine franchise stores in Japan.

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J.D. Power selected six factors driving satisfaction of service store managers: support for store sales; sales representatives; terms and conditions of business; product lineup; purchase order and delivery; and advertisement.

Bridgestone earned the highest ranking, followed by Yokohama, Dunlop and Toyo. Michelin also performed above the industry average, according to the study.

The study also determined that sales support from tire manufacturers is the most important factor influencing service-store managers.

“Entering the tire market in Japan has been difficult for import brands, due in large part to the challenges they face with setting up local representative offices and logistical stock points,” said Shinya Uchida, manager at J.D. Power Asia Pacific, in a J.D. Power release. “The study shows considerable room for improvement for import brands in the frequency of store visits by representatives and delivery timing.”

“To improve satisfaction with sales support, tire brands should focus on encouraging a tailored marketing environment that helps educate store personnel on products and services as well as reinforce an understanding of promotional campaigns and content,” said Uchida.

“It is important for tire manufacturers in terms of tire sales and marketing management to build relationships and trust with auto parts and service stores throughout their day-to-day activities,” said Uchida. “This is particularly important as competition intensifies in the replacement tire market.”

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