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Auto brand loyalty under threat in SA

2014-07-10 10:30

BRAND CONSCIOUS? According to a study, car manufacturers count on less than 30% repeat purchases, which shows a low level of automotive brand loyalty in SA. Image: Shutterstock

JOHANNESBURG, Gauteng - More than a third (35%) of car owners considering a new car in the near future say they will possibly not buy from the same brand they currently drive.

The data comes from Ipsos, which conducts national surveys that claim to provide accurate data in measuring the views and opinions of South Africans.

Rentia Kramer, head of loyalty research at Ipsos SA, said: “What this means is that car manufacturers count on less than 30% repeat purchases, which shows a low level of automotive brand loyalty.”

IMAGE MATTERS?

This lack, the Ipsos report says, is most noticeable among buyers aged 25-34 and among better-paid people - the very market which automakers find the most attractive.  

Kramer asks: “Seeing that car buyers are considering switching brands, what are the most important aspects influencing car brand choice?"

The study, Ipsos says, shows 28% of vehicle owners stated that price was the most important consideration in a vehicle purchase. This was followed by brand reputation (15%), fuel efficiency (13%) and engine size (12.5%).

The study also showed a subtle trend towards down-scaling – 28% of car-owners were considering buying cars smaller in terms of price, actual size and engine size.

Kramer claimed: “These price/cost factors are most likely influenced by general economic conditions, inflation and ever-increasing pressure on household budgets but we also know that brand reputation is largely influenced by experience, indicating the importance of positive experiences with the brand throughout the ownership experience.”

Such experiences could be of the vehicle, sales and after-sales service and at the dealer. A positive customer experience contributed greatly towards brand loyalty.

3730 face-to-face interviews were conducted for the study with randomly selected adult South Africans from February 20 to March 28 2014.
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