Is car brand loyalty dead?
When I was growing up in a small town in central Queensland everyone was separated into two very distinct groups, you were either Ford or Holden. There was no middle ground in this debate you were one or the other. I remember in 2001 when Craig Lowndes made what was considered the most controversial move in Australian motorsport when he moved from Holden to Ford. How could he? This went against everything that was right in the world, you couldn’t just overnight go from a Holden person to a Ford person, that would be madness!
Do you have loyalty for your car loan broker, dealership or brand?
However as I look back on my own car purchases over the years, I have financed both Fords and Holdens along with a Hyundai here and a Mazda there. Which brings me to the idea, is car brand loyalty dead in the automotive industry? When buying a car do we still go to our local Ford dealership or do we look around to see what options are out there? As market forces, industry standards and automaker innovations destroy age-old assumptions about car brands, blind loyalty seems sillier than ever.
According to TIME magazine, a major factor in the slip in brand loyalty is that we are just simply buying cars less frequently than ever before. The average car on the road is 11 years old compared to 8.4 years old in the mid 90s. This is because cars are built to last longer than ever before and that cars carrying on long after the 200,000km mark is common place nowadays. The data on new car purchases states that the average driver will purchase around 10 cars over the course of their lifetime down from 13 just a few decades ago.
If a driver is turning over their car 3 or 4 years into having it they will likely stick with the same brand provided they are happy with the car they have had. However if the upgrade is taking place after 9 or 10 years, the odds are higher that a purchasers lifestyle and therefore what they need from a car have changed. 10 years ago I was more worried about what the sound system was like than whether I could fit a car seat in the back and a suitcase in the boot.
Car loan shopping and car buying can be done online
The other major factor in the downfall of car brand loyalty in the automotive industry is the internet. Global market research company J.D. Fortune (not the singer from INXS) has stated that 79% of car shoppers now research their vehicles and finance options online. More interesting than that however is that 50% of these people start their search open to ANY brand! This number jumps to 54% when you look at millennials. They are open to exploring all of their options and the more they shop around the more likely they are to buy a brand they have not had prior dealings with.
We know brand loyalty is alive and well in other industries. I personally know people who wouldn’t dare walk out onto a cricket pitch without a Gray Nichols bat, anything else would be tantamount to blasphemy! Not to mention the Apple vs Samsung fanboys… So why is brand loyalty dwindling when it comes to cars?
Here at 360 Finance we will find you low rate car finance for whatever make or model takes your fancy! Contact us today on 1300 361 360 or fill out a Quick Quote above to get market leading rates no matter what brand you choose.
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