Hino Truck engines rank highest in J.D. Power medium-duty survey

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Hino Truck engines rank highest in customer satisfaction among conventional cab medium-duty truck owners, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2008 Medium-Duty Truck Engine and Transmission Customer Satisfaction Study.

J.D. Power says the study measures customer perceptions of 2006 model-year Class 5, 6 and 7 gasoline and diesel engines, and provides manufacturers with a comprehensive and objective measure of customer satisfaction with the products and related dealer service. Four factors are measured to determine overall engine satisfaction; in order of importance, they are engine warranty, engine quality, engine performance, and cost of engine ownership.

Hino Truck ranks highest in customer satisfaction with a score of 794 on a 1,000-point scale, and performs particularly well in engine quality and engine warranty. Mercedes-Benz (758) and Caterpillar (748) follow Hino in the rankings.

“Hino Truck engines perform well across the board, particularly with regard to quality,” says Brian Etchells, senior research manager in the commercial vehicle group at J.D. Power and Associates. “Compared with owners of other brands, fewer owners of Hino Truck engines report experiencing an engine problem or engine-related downtime. In past years, Hino Truck engines have been well-regarded for their fuel economy, quality and performance in cabover trucks, and Hino engines continue to satisfy in these areas today within the brand’s conventional model lineup.”

The study finds that while gasoline engines account for only 5 percent of the medium-duty engines included in the study, owners of gasoline engines are more satisfied than are diesel engine owners, particularly in the areas of engine performance, engine quality and cost of engine ownership. Medium-duty truck engine customers are more satisfied with gasoline engines in terms of reliability and dependability, acceleration when the truck is fully loaded, cost of routine engine maintenance, engine noise and engine vibration.

“Typically, gasoline engines are specified primarily for lower-class trucks – 2C through 5 – and even then, they are the minority in Class 5,” Etchells says. “Considering the jobs these classes of trucks have to perform, it’s surprising that gasoline engine owners are more satisfied than diesel engine owners. There are only two key areas in which diesel engines appear to have an edge in satisfying customers, compared with gasoline engines – the length and comprehensiveness of the engine warranty and fuel economy, where diesel engines have a higher reported average miles per gallon than gasoline engines.”

The 2008 Medium-Duty Truck Engine and Transmission Customer Satisfaction Study is based on responses from 1,525 primary maintainers of two-year-old conventional cab medium-duty trucks. The study was fielded in July and August 2008.