Brand of the ris­ing sun

A sur­vey shows Aussies rate Ja­panese car­mak­ers highly, writes Mark Hinch­liffe

Herald Sun - Motoring - - On road -

SUBARU and Honda rate high­est with Aus­tralian car buy­ers. The Ja­panese brands have topped an on­line loy­alty sur­vey, beat­ing the coun­try’s best-sell­ing brand, Toy­ota, into third place.

The sur­vey, by Bris­bane con­sult­ing firm En­gaged Mar­ket­ing, says the top three sig­nif­i­cantly out­per­formed Ford and GM Holden.

The sur­vey looked at which brands were most rec­om­mended by con­sumers.

Three com­pa­nies achieved neg­a­tive scores — Holden, Ford and Mit­subishi.

Com­pany di­rec­tor Chris Roberts says: ‘‘Rec­om­men­da­tions are im­pacted by me­dia re­ports, but when you look at it, it’s more about what the prod­uct re­ally does and how it per­forms.

‘‘Price is not as strong a rec­om­men­da­tion as how the prod­uct per­forms. Peo­ple want qual­ity more than price.’’

En­gaged Mar­ket­ing’s first car com­pany re­search says 35 per cent of Subaru cus­tomers are likely to rec­om­mend the brand to friends and col­leagues. Roberts says the re- search also demon­strates the im­pact neg­a­tive cus­tomer com­ments can have on an or­gan­i­sa­tion.

‘‘ Our re­search shows that for ev­ery one neg­a­tive com­ment made about a par­tic­u­lar car, it takes around five pos­i­tive re­fer­rals to negate that dam­age,’’ he says.

‘‘In the highly com­pet­i­tive carsales in­dus­try, achiev­ing a pos­i­tive cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence, first time, is more im­por­tant than ever.

‘‘It seems cer­tain that some car com­pa­nies in par­tic­u­lar have huge po­ten­tial to grow sim­ply by fo­cus­ing on im­prov­ing their cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ences and value propo­si­tions.’’

The sur­vey asked 1720 ve­hi­cle own­ers to rate their ex­pe­ri­ence and rank com­pa­nies ac­cord­ing to whether they would rec­om­mend them.

It showed that rec­om­men­da­tions from friends or fam­ily — par­tic­u­larly on so­cial-me­dia net­works such as Face­book — were the biggest in­flu- ence on pur­chase de­ci­sions for 45 per cent of con­sumers.

The sur­vey in­cluded other non-car com­pa­nies and only listed car com­pa­nies men­tioned by cus­tomers.

Some of the com­pre­hen­sive re­port’s find­ings are re­stricted.

They are avail­able only to com­pa­nies that are pre­pared to buy the in­for­ma­tion.

Loy­alty fac­tor: Subaru Forester own­ers reckon mates should have one too.

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