With Data From 3.2 million Car Owners, J.D. Power Relaunches Website as Car-Shopping Tool

J.D. Power, an information-services firm known especially for its customer-satisfaction studies of new cars, has relaunched its primary public-facing website, converting the site into a decidedly consumer-oriented car shopping tool. The site provides rankings and reviews and a new 100-point rating system.

The new J.D. Power website looks to us like a 180-degree shift from the firm’s old site. Responding to our questions about the change, a company representative acknowledged that “J.D. Power’s site, which has long been industry-focused, now features a consumer-friendly format with data sourced from more than 3 million verified, peer-to-peer reviews and all of the company’s studies.” Behind that matter-of-fact response, our guess is that a change this dramatic involved a great deal of angst, a fair amount of internal conflict, and a gutsy judgment call from the highest organizational level.

Decidedly business-to-business (B2B), the previous home page greeted the user with the title “Beyond Measure,” a bit of industry-oriented marketing copy, and links to “Benchmarks,” “Solutions,” and “Clients.” Most consumers have really only known J.D. Power from the company’s tombstone-shaped award trophies that sometimes appear in TV commercials.

But in its relaunched web presence, the firm has made a conscious effort to directly serve car shopping consumers, as opposed to selling market research. The redesigned home page features the tagline “Real Insights From Real Owners”; a sentence of copy emphasizing that here you can get ratings and reviews based on car-owners’ input; and, best of all: two big, simple, red search buttons, “Cars by make” and “Cars by type.”

Drilling down into a particular make and model gets you to pictures, specs, pricing, reviews by both consumers and experts, and the car’s J.D. Power 100-Point Score, based on criteria such as quality, dependability, performance, depreciation, and even customer experience at the dealership.

The site allows a shopper to search cars for sale locally and to get dealer price quotes.

Data for the new website are based on J.D. Power’s studies on vehicle reliability, customer satisfaction, quality, and performance. The company prides itself on its use of verified feedback from car owners. J.D. Power is still rolling out data to the site, but so far, users can compare makes, models, and body styles for 2013 to 2018. An announcement this week said that the company will continue to add rating, review, and award data during the next few months.