NEW YORK — Almost one in three luxury car owners have a more negative attitude toward purchasing another luxury vehicle in the future, this according to a recent survey conducted by TNS, a global leader in market information. With the unknown future of the European debt crisis, continued economic concerns throughout the U.S. and the potential of slower growth in global auto supplier markets, consumers’ fears are building concerns that past sales growth could wane.
Among luxury vehicle owners whose attitude toward the segment has been negatively impacted, the most common reason cited focuses on the current and future affordability of ownership (74%), with insurance and maintenance (43%) also being cited as a pivotal concern for future purchase. “Clearly the high visibility of the recent debt crisis and the ensuing mayhem in the financial markets is causing negative sentiment toward the luxury vehicle segment,” says William Bruno, Vice President for TNS. “What is most telling is the similar level of negative attitudes expressed by a large portion of existing luxury vehicle owners, as well as non-owners who aspire to own luxury vehicles.”
It’s more than an emotional connection: perceptions may not equate with reality
According to the survey, nineteen percent (19%) of luxury vehicle owners showing negative attitudes cited the lack of fuel economy in most luxury brands as being the reason they were shifting away from a future purchase. “The high focus on fuel economy is surprising to us, because according to our research, many luxury brands offer competitive gas mileage when compared to similarly equipped, non-luxury, mid-sized vehicles,” said Bruno. “The overall perceptions aren’t matching up with reality and this is great opportunity for marketers and manufacturers to continue demonstrating the real economics associated with luxury brands.”
Based on the results of TNS’ recent study, this strong reliance on perception is only likely to grow, as thirteen percent (13%) of respondents cite an inappropriate or “out-of-tune” image as being the main reason for steering clear of buying a luxury brand vehicle. “The consumer mind-set has changed. While car manufacturers may have historically reached potential consumers by meeting the emotional needs and lifestyle desires of their consumers, basic performance measures are making a stronger impact on future purchase decisions. Manufacturers will need to continue reinforcing their economic and functional product advantages in the minds of consumers,” concluded Bruno.
TNS advises clients on specific growth strategies around new market entry, innovation, brand switching and stakeholder management, based on long-established expertise and market-leading solutions. With a presence in over 80 countries, TNS has more conversations with the world’s consumers than anyone else and understands individual human behaviours and attitudes across every cultural, economic and political region of the world.
TNS is part of Kantar, one of the world’s largest insight, information and consultancy groups.
Please visit www.tns-us.com for more information.
Kantar is one of the world’s largest insight, information and consultancy groups. By uniting the diverse talents of its 13 specialist companies, the group aims to become the pre-eminent provider of compelling and inspirational insights for the global business community. Its 28,500 employees work across 100 countries and across the whole spectrum of research and consultancy disciplines, enabling the group to offer clients business insights at each and every point of the consumer cycle. The group’s services are employed by over half of the Fortune Top 500 companies.