Power Stifles PIN Data With Media
J.D. Power and Associates is readying a letter to reporters covering the auto industry that the firm will no longer provide manufacturer, brand or model specific data for news stories. The new policy, say executives familiar with the change, was brought about by complaints from manufacturers unhappy that the data was being used to write negative stories.
Power, the recognized authority for measuring quality and customer satisfaction in the auto industry, rose to prominence in the 1970s and 80s by supplying reporters with data and releasing results of its surveys to the media. Power is anxious, though, to sell Power Information Network (PIN) services to OEMs and is being pressured by existing clients.
Manufacturers including General Motors, DaimlerChrysler, Ford and
PIN data collects new car transaction data across the country, and then mines the data for clients trying to better target rebates and other marketing programs to different regions. Reporters, for example, could, until now, find out how many Jeep owners have been trading to GM and even how many import owners are buying Chrysler 300s. Going forward, media won't have access to such data, and will only be able to obtain industry or segment data on, for example, minivans or crossovers in general.
Until last year, Power only released quality and satisfaction scores of car companies scoring above industry average. But last year, Power began releasing scores of all brands, top to bottom. Car companies were not happy about that. But executives say the new survey release policy will stand. -Jim Burt
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