“What this means is that car manufacturers count on less than 30 percent repeat purchase,” said Rentia Krämer, head of Loyalty Research at Ipsos South Africa. “This indicates a low level of brand loyalty in the automotive market,” she added.
This lack of loyalty was seen in the 25 to 34-year-old vehicle owner bracket as well as in the higher income vehicle owner market. These two markets are key areas for automotive manufacturers as capturing the youth means that once they become high income earners they have a degree of brand loyalty while the latter market is self explanatory.
According to the study, 28 percent of vehicle owners said that price was the most important factor to consider when purchasing a vehicle. This was followed by brand reputation (15 percent), fuel efficiency (13 percent) and engine size (12.5 percent) as the most important factors being considered when buying a car.
The impact of traditional advertising and communication becomes diluted over time especially with the growth of digital media. A positive customer experience as a key component to build brand reputation, contributes greatly towards brand loyalty. “The customer experience of these key areas of vehicle ownership can therefore be dubbed the new brand image,” said Krämer.
A total of 3 730 personal face-to-face interviews were conducted with randomly selected adult South Africans. The interviews were done in the homes and home languages of respondents. Trained quantitative fieldworkers from all population groups were responsible for the interviewing, which took place from 20 February to 28 March 2014.
The study also shows a subtle trend towards downscaling – 28 percent of current car owners said they’re considering buying smaller cars in terms of price, actual size and engine size.