After 12 years of operating in Australia, global market-research firm JD Power & Associates hopes to finally gain access to the data it needs to establish and conduct its motor vehicle quality and customer satisfaction surveys there, the Age newspaper said in a report carried by the website

According to the report, the US-based firm conducts surveys in the US, Europe and Asia, but the managing director of JD Power Australia, Brian Fine, said: "We haven't been allowed to do a survey by the manufacturers in this country because they hold on to their customer names and they do their own surveys and keep them to themselves.

"We have been looking for opportunities to get them to agree to do a survey and, while we have a number that are willing, we need all of them to participate, otherwise it doesn't give us any benchmark information.

"We are talking to a number of other sources of databases and we are hoping that we are going to be able to mount our survey shortly," he added, according to the Age.

The Age report said Fine believes independent studies such as those by JD Power are needed for the Australian motor industry to be able to measure quality and improve its products.

"I am happy to throw down the challenge to any manufacturer that there is a need for an independent survey, there is a need for a transparent study and it is important to be able to compare the results of Australian car manufacturing with global manufacturing when it comes to customer satisfaction and quality," Fine reportedly said.

The Age report said that many Australian car manufacturers already participate in a similar survey, called the new vehicle quality survey, which is conducted by ACNielsen.

A Ford spokesperson told the Age that the company was more than happy with that survey but would look at a similar JD Power survey if approached.