Consumers Prefer Premium Brand Audio Systems: Study

Consumers Prefer Premium Brand Audio Systems: Study

Infotainment systems are increasingly important in new car purchases, and a new J.D. Power study released today reveals that customers who opt for premium audio system are more satisfied with their new car overall. 

Overall, 80 percent of buyers who choose premium branded audio like THX in Lincoln vehicles or Bang & Olufsen in Audi, are satisfied with their purchase. Comparatively, only 70 percent of buyers with base stereo systems are satisfied. Besides a premium brand audio system, steering wheel mounted controls, satellite radio, nav system and MP3 capability were the next four features on the list that most influenced new car buyers satisfaction level with their vehicles.

“The positive impact on satisfaction with more premium audio features and options demonstrates vehicle owners’ desire for more advanced, functional and personalized media technologies,” said Mike VanNieuwkuyk, executive director of global automotive at J.D. Power and Associates.

While these technologies are great, the problems per 100 vehicles have been increasing consistently over the last three years. Consumers report seven problems per 100 vehicles this year, compared to 6.9 problems per 100 in 2011. Specifically, consumers have been complaining more often about the navigation system map information, missing/wrong directions, and poorly positioned screens.

“Compared with other areas of the multimedia system, navigation systems are evolving the most and in the quickest amount of time, which leads to growing pains and increased problems,” said VanNieuwkuyk.

The influence multimedia systems can have on a car is substantial. Ford, for example, has been criticized widely for its MyFordTouch system, with some even suggesting that it hurts sales.