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Study: Car buyers angry

2009-09-04 09:43
A global study to determine responses to the current recession show most car buyers are angry and display a lack of trust towards carmakers.

The "Tipping Point" study by Synovate's automotive division Motoresearch was conducted between March and April 2009 and included 120 focus groups across 16 countries, including South Africa.

Respondents were asked about their views and opinions towards global brands and car companies. The study found that, although consumers could be split into three distinct groups, they shared the same views, values and ideals.

South Africans vocal

Future car buyers in South Africa, the US, Germany, UK, Russia, Spain and France showed a desire for change to practice greater self-control and responsibility when it comes to spending.

“For the moment, respondents in these markets are more vocal, expressing their dissatisfaction towards global corporations.

"Many were shocked and frustrated with institutions and brands that have let them down.  However, they also accepted some of the blame for fuelling the greed, consuming excessively and living beyond their own means.” said Scott Miller, CEO of Synovate Motoresearch. 

“Regardless of who is to blame, consumers now feel that they are bearing the lion’s share of the risk associated with large purchases, from both financial and product integrity perspectives. 

"Auto brands need to connect to these consumers by mitigating that risk with a focus on integrity, genuine, lasting value and stronger personal relationships with their customers.” he added.

Lasting shift

However, respondents in China, India and Thailand noted they were less susceptible to the "greed and consumerism" practised in the West, but admitted to feeling the effects of the recession.

Conversely, future car buyers in Japan, Australia, Brazil, South Korea and the UAE were also high critical in the focus groups. Most of their anger was directed towards the US, the study found, who they believed was the primary cause of the global economic slump.

“Interestingly enough, a definite change in discretionary spending is expected among car owners and future car buyers in these markets. As the downturn continues, we will see greater belt-tightening and smart shopping. We are also likely to see a lasting shift in consumer values when it comes to companies and brands,” said Miller.

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