Did you know that there are more than 60 automotive brands in the world? As such, you have a wide array of cars to choose from ranging from the tiny Kei cars of Japan all the way up to the million-dollar exotic supercars like Ferrari or Pagani. You can select anything that can fit your daily needs or be extravagant to show off your wealth. But what rolls out the showroom floor really depends on what car buyers want… or does it?

Among the many brands out there, 5 dominate the automotive market—Ford, Honda, Nissan, Toyota, and Volkswagen. What makes these brands unique? What are the common factors behind the success of each car manufacturer mentioned above? Let’s dive deeper and find out. The information you see might persuade you to buy from these car brands.

Brand affinity

According to AutoDeal, 26.13 percent of 2,893 car buyers claimed that what influenced them to buy from a certain automotive manufacturer was how they felt matched their preferences. Brands like Ford, Honda, Nissan, Toyota, and Volkswagen have a wide array of products to match their customer’s preferences, increasing the chances of a sale, but so do the other brands.

Of course, it isn’t just lady luck or a customer’s preference that has a hand in how much they sell year in and year out. How they market each vehicle to their customers plays a huge role, too, and this is called brand affinity.

Car manufacturers need to come up with complex strategies and marketing campaigns to make customers feel like their product fits their needs like a glove. If we take a look at Toyota’s best-selling vehicles—the Corolla subcompact sedan, Camry midsize sedan, and RAV4 crossover—it’s easy to see how each car fits a specific profile of a car buyer.

The Corolla is suited for the young at heart, the Camry is advertised as a family vehicle, while the RAV4 is said to be for the adventurous and practical car owner. Toyota has the widest vehicle lineup of more than 15 vehicle models for different customer profiles. As mentioned, it’s easier to make a sale if the customer believes the product is specifically made for them.

Vehicle safety

The 5 bestselling vehicles in 2018 as reported by JATO—Ford Ranger, Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, Toyota RAV4, and Nissan X-Trail—all received 5-star ratings for adult occupancy from the independent safety assessment body, the ASEAN New Car Assessment Program (ASEAN NCAP). Is this a coincidence? We think not.

A case study by AutoDeal reveals that 47 percent of their respondents think that vehicle safety is the single most important factor when choosing their next car. Digging deeper into their statistics, it showed that safety and security ranked fifth in the most engaged categories from their website. Somewhat contrasting details, isn’t it?

That’s because the respondents played the good cop while taking the survey, but as the saying goes, action speaks louder than words. And that’s where the latter comes in.

Majority of car buyers in the Philippines actually consider engine details, power, and performance, features, and economy over safety and security. That, however, is expected to change as local laws catch up to international standards. The data also showed that as we age, safety becomes a concern. Many car owners now use engine anodes to increases the longevity of the engine. You will find quality anodes at Anode Shack that also resolve the issue of corrosion to protect heat exchangers.

Ownership experience

Did you know that one out of every five car buyers taught us that they would consider a vehicle recommendation from someone they know? They would take the word of their spouse, neighbor, relative or colleague more than what brands say and advertise about their cars.

That’s no surprise either because 77 percent of customers will recommend a product or a service after having a positive experience with a company. That’s how the importance of ownership experience and brand loyalty helped these 5 car brands dominate the market.

Because, why not? You get to see how well a product works for them, right? You can easily put yourself in their shoes. In addition, the word of mouth and to actually see and feel it in a third-party setting would really help buyers get a feel for the car they’ve been looking at without having to buy the car first.

In the Philippines, Toyota has dominated the local market with a 40 percent share and growing. It’s grown to such a point that it has become a household name. Well, they’ve been here for more than 60 years (if we count the Delta Motors days).

Customer experience

Part of the car buying experience is receiving quality customer service. If you can’t provide quality customer service, 90 percent of your customers will not return to make a purchase.

In AutoDeal, their study has shown that 16.24 percent of respondents has indicated that the biggest factor in making their purchase was good overall customer service. Moreover, knowing that spare parts and maintenance is easy to obtain and relatively affordable greatly affects how buyers choose their next car.

Ford Philippines recognized that and dropped the ownership costs of their big three: Everest SUV, Ranger Pickup, and EcoSport Crossover. Nissan Philippines, on the other hand, launched its 30-minute guaranteed Preventive Maintenance Service to promote better after-sales service.

That’s why car manufacturers try their best to make every customer feel extra special throughout the entire buying process and even in after-sales. Good overall customer experience is also essential in building brand loyalty, which is one of the elements of brand affinity.

If you’re a sales agent, it’s best to start with your response rate by answering their questions patiently and with deep knowledge about the product. Dealership owners, on the other hand, must ensure great after-sales service and the right marketing strategy to complete sales. This way, you can provide the best customer service as possible. It’s not hard to see the reasons why these car brands dominate the market, at least locally. Their forward thinking with what their products can bring and their improved customer service help them connect more with their customers, which in turn spread the love to their family and friends, who then are greatly influenced in their purchase.

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