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March 2020
8 Min read
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Luxury or Mass Market Cars.
Who Runs the World?

Aleksandra Raevskaya

Luxury or Mass Market Cars.
Who Runs the World?
3 votes

In 2019, the number of cars sold worldwide reached 90 million. The top 5 leading best seller companies were headed by Toyota, Volkswagen, Ford, Honda, and Nissan. How do you like that, Elon Musk?

What makes us, consumers, choose a particular car brand? First of all, it is quality, design, and value. The next factors are a tribute to fashion and fidelity to the individual style. When it refers to a certain brand, the level of uncertainty is reduced when it comes to the choice. However, the main factor affecting the purchase is still a result of attending a car dealership. After all, this is the last point before making a decision and choosing a particular brand of car.

Based on the evidence from our customers and publicly available data, we have studied what automobile trends in 2019 there were, and what we should expect from the current year.

The first thing customers pay attention to when buying a car is:

  1. Personalized insurance.
  2. Advanced package of additional services.
  3. Implementation of technologies: connection with electronic devices.
  4. Comfort in the cabin.
  5. Security system for drivers and pedestrians.
  6. Mobile application for B2B and travelers: search for parking, hotel, restaurant.
  7. Improved vehicle system diagnostics.
  8. Simplicity and ease of use.

Considering the cars’ price tag, success, or failure in the fight for a buyer is quite significant. We have analyzed the behavior of buyers and consultants in several dealer networks both the mass and the premium segment and found some interesting facts. 

  • I do not care about your omnichannel

In our age of high technology, customers expect car dealerships to provide feedback through main communication channels — phone, email, and contact form on the website.

As a result of our research of 433 car dealerships in 12 countries of one of the largest brands, which is among the top 15 leaders in global sales, it turned out that only in 12 cases (2.7%) the contact e-mail was not supplied on the website! At the same time, in 68% of cases, a buyer did not receive any response to his email.

  • Monday feeling 

When researching the number of responses to the emails of another automobile brand, which is in the list of top 5 largest companies in the market, it turned out that the situation was not much better there. The study even managed to identify the relation between the day of the week when the letter was sent, and the probability of an answer to it. Thus, if you send a letter on Wednesday, then the probability that you will receive an answer is only 6%! Moreover, if you send an email at the wrong time (according to our data, from 9 to 11 am), then the probability of an answer is even less.

  • Your call is very important to YOU

Well, we’ve sent an email. They did not get back to us. But we are still determined to visit the car dealership. We called to make an appointment. In 11% of cases, during the conversation, a consultant does not take the initiative to make an appointment at the car dealership, and in 15% of cases, he doesn’t even ask about the chosen car model.

Totally, with a probability of 60% you will be invited to a test drive after a call to a car dealership, and with a probability of 75% — if you are lucky to receive an email reply.

Luxury and Mass Market Brands

  • A small pack of good things

Finally, no matter what, we came to a car dealership for consultation and a test drive for a pre-selected car.

The first thing a client pays attention to is the staff’s professionalism and courtesy. But seemingly insignificant details are not less important.

According to the results of our study, in 75% of cases in the luxury salon visitors were offered drinks. And in mass-market class salons, this index was only 33%. Such a trifle as tea or coffee, which hardly cost a lot of money to the companies, was most often mentioned by customers as pleasant surprises.

Among other small details that also made the visit more pleasant, apart from drinks and cookies, the respondents mentioned friendliness and attentiveness of the consultant, as well as highlighting the functionality that meets the buyer’s needs, and zero waitlist.

  • A pig in the poke

How important is it for us, as clients, to sit in a car and to try how it feels? In the dealerships of the premium car segment, 80% of customers were offered to sit in a car, while in the dealerships of the mass car segment this figure was higher and equal to 88%. This may be due to the fact that the consultants in the mass segment car dealerships are more persistent in their desire to sell as many cars as possible. And dealerships of the premium segment cars expect to sell fewer, but more expensive vehicles.

How likely is it that a person interested in a purchase would decide to buy without a test drive? According to our study, 25% of buyers in the premium segment were not offered a test drive at all. In the mass segment, 28% of customers were unable to ride the desired car. The probability of purchase in these cases is close to zero.

What does the sphere hold for us in 2020?

  1. Interest in electric vehicles continues to grow worldwide. It is likely that the electrification of the automotive industry is going to accelerate significantly in the next few years. Electric cars will become more popular among shared mobility options.
  2. Interest in ICE vehicles has been lowered in most markets. The solution for small companies in the development and improvement of their gasoline and diesel engines. One of the most striking examples of the companies that continue to develop ICE technology while everyone refuses them, is Mazda, Kia, Hyundai, Renault, and others.
  3. Consumers remain unadapted to multimodal mobility. According to the Deloitte research agency, consumers in Japan, Germany, and the United States do not like changes more than others, since fewer than one in five people use several transport modes per trip.
  4. Privacy and data security concerns remain. The protection of personal data is the highest quality indicator of any company. The automotive industry is not an exception.
  5. Many processes in sales are changing, including the customer service process. According to Gartner’s consulting company forecast, by 2020 the income of brands that have implemented personalization should increase by 15%.

However, none of the trends will change the gold standards — a persistently high-quality level of service, polite friendly communication, identification, and compliance with consumer needs.

 

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