The inaugural SA AutoBrand 2011 Survey, produced by RamsayMedia Research Solutions (RMRS), indicates that price is the more important determining factor in new vehicle purchases and that people who are in the market for a new car will consider several categories to meet a specific budget or best fit a lifestyle need.
The survey measures customers’ satisfaction as well as their needs and factors influencing purchase in respect of every automotive brand and model currently on the market. The survey encompasses all vehicle categories, including entry-level to luxury passenger cars, performance cars, MPVs, SUVs, pick-ups and panel vans.
“The survey reveals that, with a budget of R500 000, a prospective car buyer could equally be interested in an executive four-door sedan, a top-end station wagon or MPV or even an entry-level sports car,” points out Andrew Stodel, GM of RMRS. “By the same token, R300 000 could get you a mid-range double cab, a German luxury passenger car or an entry-level MPV.
“Someone who may initially be looking for a passenger car may be tempted by a similarly priced MPV if they weigh up, for example, that it can also accommodate an outdoor lifestyle involving mountain bikes or camping gear. When discerning consumers have this much choice, marketers need to think laterally and widen their competitive sets – their marketing message needs to take into account that they aren’t only competing with other similar vehicle types.”
Passenger car needs
Looking at passenger car buyers, of the 5700 survey respondents, 72% who said they were interested in buying luxury passenger cars said they would also consider buying a performance car, and 49% said they would also consider buying a luxury SUV or double cab. Meanwhile, 17% of those interested in entry-level passenger cars would be happy to find an affordable SUV or double cab and 13% would look at station wagons and MPVs if the price was right (less than R 250 000).
“The survey has other valuable insights into consumer perceptions and behaviour, which may challenge the beliefs commonly held by manufacturers and marketers alike, but which could be extremely valuable to these key decision-makers,” explains Alan Todd, RMRS partner.
More surveys planned
The survey is the first major product from RMRS and draws on over 25 years’ research experience in the automotive industry through partners Todd and Gordon Hooper, who also head up Bateleur Research Solutions. The results of the SA AutoBrand 2011 Survey are available from this month.
Future industry-specific surveys in the pipeline from RMRS include a survey of the country’s most affluent consumers commissioned by UCT’s Unilever Institute of Strategic Marketing, the travel and hospitality Survey and others. It can also produce a bespoke online research solution for a specific interest sector or market.