Brand of the rising sun
A survey shows Aussies rate Japanese carmakers highly, writes Mark Hinchliffe
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.