That’s the conclusion of the latest research by consultancy Capgemini. It surveyed consumers in the UK, USA, France, Germany and China and found emotional reasons such as simply wanting to try something new scored very highly among reasons for purchase. Factors such as fuel economy and safety were below aspects such as enjoyment, new experience and suiting their needs.
Loyalty certainly isn’t guaranteed. One in two owned a vehicle that is a different brand from their previous vehicle, and an even higher proportion had switched dealers.
“This poses a challenge for dealers and manufacturers,” says Nick Gill, Capgemini’s global automotive leader. “How do you appeal to both the rational and the emotional aspects?
Manufacturers and dealers must focus on better collaboration, stronger commitment to developing a long-term relationship with the customer, and increased communication throughout the vehicle life cycle to improve customer loyalty as well as business performance.”
Post-sale communication and marketing is vital. Two thirds of respondents said they appreciate dealer contact such as being phoned by the service manager after work’s been done, receiving service reminders or being contacted for feedback following delivery.
Price is still a core issue for buyers, particularly in the used car sector, according to a separate study by EurotaxGlass’s. The growth in internet advertising means many are now more clued-up on the value of vehicles.
Managing editor Adrian Rushmore says: “Both dealers and customers benefit from market research. If dealers remain informed about their market, they can be sure of selling vehicles rapidly and more profitably.”
Educated buyers need more than sweeteners to build brand loyalty