posted 2 years ago

Market Insight: Is there still value in the dealer having a brand of their own?

Motoring.co.uk asks…

Is there still value in the dealer having a brand of their own?

The motoring.co.uk survey panel consists of 1,300 respondents drawn from readers of our newsletter and those engaged with us on social media.

Was the last car you bought new or used?

36% of respondents last purchased a new car and 64% last purchased a used car.

New car buyers said…

How important was the dealer brand in the choice of car you bought?

Almost 11% of respondents said the dealer brand was very important to them when buying a new car whereas around 36% of respondents consider the dealer brand unimportant. Interestingly, around a third of respondents considered the brand important or moderately important.  

How important was the manufacturer brand in the choice of car you bought?

As expected, around 70% of respondents said the manufacturer brand was important or very important to them when buying a new car. Over 6% of our survey respondents said the manufacturer brand was not important to them. Interestingly, around three quarters of those that considered the manufacturer brand unimportant said the dealer brand was important or very important to them.

Used car buyers said…

How important was the dealer brand in the choice of car you bought?

For those that bought a used car last time, almost 12% of respondents said the dealer brand was very important to them. Around 40% of respondents said that the dealer brand was important or moderately important. 

How important was the manufacturer brand in the choice of car you bought?

Again, around 70% of respondents who bought a used car last time said the manufacturer brand was important or very important to them. Unsurprisingly, slightly more respondents said the manufacturer brand was not important to them when they bought their used car.

Aftersales…

Would you buy from the same brand again?

Over 50% of respondents said they would purchase aftersales products and services from the dealer that sold the car, whereas around 32% of respondents would visit an independent dealer. The likelihood of the customer buying from the same brand again is lessened if they don't have it serviced at the franchised dealer. This further validates the theory that the dealer is important in the customer’s car buying process.

Commentary

The manufacturer brand is the clear winner in terms of the initial choice, but the role of the dealer should not be underestimated. 

Dealers with strong brand values and a clear message can support their manufacturer franchise partners whilst those that deliver a lesser experience will dilute the OEM brand values for a customer.

Manufacturers should embrace dealers with strong brands. If the dealer is delivering a great user experience in both sales and aftersales events it can only help the brand to sell more cars in the long term.

Customer experience is still the key to brand loyalty. Our research indicates that the aftersales experience has a direct impact on the proportion of customers who return to the same brand again. If dealers win the service business, they are much more likely to win the loyalty of the consumer.