Brand loyalty is a thing of the past. This trend has been confirmed in a new report, which says that most recession-hit customers are more interested in selling points such as petrol consumption and monthly car finance than make and models.
Motoring.co.uk's report found that seven out of 10 consumers thinking of buying a new car are now more pre-occupied with the following five main questions. What is:
- the MPG (miles per gallon)
- insurance group
- road tax
- finance deposit
- the monthly payment?
Chris Green, founder and Sales Director said: "Long gone are the days of consumers having lots of disposable cash and asking 'What is the discount?' as they simply don't pay cash like they used to."
He said that volume manufacturers such as Ford have been able to maintain and grow their market share by meeting the changing needs of today's new car buyer.
Mr Green said that Ford has been especially successful in launching new products with superb build quality, supported by lucrative finance deals.
Car firms such as Hyundai and Kia have also been able to increase market share substantially.
Hyundai is also changing with the times, Mr Green said, with seven-year warranties and lower-cost vehicles.
Its market share growth - a 29.4% year-on-year rise in February - proves that such tactics are winning support from customers.
Kia has done likewise, he said, and is enjoying similar growth and success in raised market share.
Mr Green added: "Interestingly, Suzuki has experienced a significant increase in market share (61.9%) and this is down to a focus on the small hatchback sector. "
He said Swift has "answered and ticked the boxes" for the consumer on all five key questions they are asking, describing it as a "cracking little car" that's great to look at with universal appeal.
So what about the manufacturers which are losing market share - such as Renault - and why?
Mr Green said Renault has seen its market share drop 21.4% year on year. He said: "If you believe what you read in 2012, they were over 40% down on registrations from 2011, which is a huge decline for such a big volume brand."
Mr Green believes Renault got its tactics wrong, saying that the money it has ploughed into electric cars in the recent tough economic climate could have been better spent on new models and better build quality.
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