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Ipsos 2015 results: Bakkies vs. passenger cars in SA

2016-06-01 08:21

ANALYSING THE TRENDS: The 2015 Ipsos results highlighted the interesting buying traits of South Africans. Image: Supplied

Charlen Raymond

Cape Town - The Ipsos quality awards has been announced with Audi, Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen walking away with Platinum awards for outstanding quality over the past four years.

What the rewards also highlight are the various trends in both the passenger and light commercial vehicle (LCV) segments of the market. Various buyers from South Africa’s rich diversities are screened in order for Ipsos to provide the motor industry with a true as possible reflection of current and future trends.

Age is a factor

South Africa’s car buyers come from various backgrounds, with each background having its own set of unique requirements. What the 2015 Ipsos survey brought to light was that buyers in the 35-49 age group are still the majority buyers of both passenger and LCVs; with LCVs the preferred choice in an age group that is more likely to have families.

In the 18-24 age group buyers are more interested in passenger cars - a contrast to the aforementioned family-orientated buyer.

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Passenger Distribution:                        Light Commercial Distribution:

18-24 (n=282)                                         18-24 =(86)

25-34 (1785)                                            25-34 (701)

35-49 (2538)                                            35-49 (1462) 

50+ (2305)

A vehicle for every province

One of the more interesting, and always fascinating, aspects of the Ipsos survey is how diverse the buying trends of South Africans are. The environmental buyers will, for the most part, dictate what type of vehicle should be acquired.

In the Northern Cape buyers are more likely to opt for an LCV over a passenger vehicle, whereas in the Eastern Cape and North West Province, for example, passenger vehicles are the preferred choice. More city-like environments pushes the consumer to opt for a passenger vehicle instead of a LCV for country living.

It is also worth noting that consumers in each of their settings tend to be happy with their purchase. 


Passenger Distribution:                    Light Commercial Distribution:

Eastern Cape (413)                             Eastern Cape (235)

Free State (336)                                  Free State (172)

Gauteng (2983)                                   Gauteng (1223)

Kwazulu Natal (1082)                          Kwazulu Natal (507)

Limpopo (299)                                     Limpopo (256)

Mpumalanga (330)                               Mpumalanga (247)

Northern Cape (73)                              Northern Cape (72)

NW Province (316)                                NW Province (219)

Western Cape (1014)                            Western Cape (404)


Not just black or white

South Africa’s economic landscape is rife with successful individuals from the various sections of business (both private and public). The buying trends suggested that passenger vehicles were preferred over LCV by all South Africans. Note: this is only a reflection of the percentage of surveyed consumers, not total sales.

White buyers showed little differentiation between passenger cars and LCVs, whereas Indians showed less interest in LCVs. Coloureds and blacks opted for passenger cars over LCVs by a small percentagen.

In both the passenger and LCV segments, white South Africans are the majority consumers, with black South Africans not far behind.



Passenger Distribution:                      Light Commercial Distribution:

Asian (113)                                         Asian (37)*

Black (2421)                                       Black (1134)

Coloured (419)                                    Coloured (122)

Indian (484)                                        Indian (195)

White (3086)                                       White (1743)

Strong gender representation

What is also evident from the 2015 results is the almost-even distribution of sales between men and women for passenger vehicles. Men account for 58.9% (n=3980) of sales and women 41.1% (n=2995).

For LCVs the story is a bit different, with men out-buying women 83.8% to 16.2% (n=2923 vs n=542).

Insight to future trends

Speaking to Patric Busschau, director of Ipsos, the price of vehicles will influence the buying trends of consumers in the coming year(s), with greater emphasis to be placed on value for money rather than status. However, "this will not halt consumers to still opt for a vehicle that is on the cusp of what they can afford".

In light of this, Busschau foresees that buyers will want to own an affordable, versatile and multi-functional vehicle to cater to a number of needs; with soft-roaders possibly enjoying more sales’ success.

Asked if the 2015 Ipsos results gave any insight to ownership cycles, Busschau pointed out that market trends suggests that consumers are more likely to hold on to a vehicle for the long haul. With a pressing economy and consumers wanting to get the most out of their rands, Busschau underlined his statement by mentioning Hyundai’s 7-year or 200 000km warranty as an example.


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