Recession Hurt Brand Loyalty

December 12th, 2012 by

Changes on The Horizon

There are lots of Guelph Used Cars and Toronto Used Cars customers up for grabs, as the recession is slowly starting to end and people are ready to get out of their vehicles. Pre-recession, it was standard practice that most people bought or leased new vehicles after 3 or 4 years max, when their regular lease contracts expired. When the recession hit, many people were unable to pay for such a luxury, or were too afraid to spend extra money on a new car.

The longer a driver keeps their vehicle, the more likely that consumer is to replace it with a different brand, a recent study shows. The loyalty decline means that car makers and dealerships need to compete harder for their customers, and must do even more to make drivers want to come back to their brands. The previous leasing trend that turned customers into new customers every 2 or 3 years was almost non existent during the recession, leaving a major gap in Ontario Used Cars and Toronto Used Cars markets.

According to the study by R.I. Polk & Co, American drivers now keep their new cars for an average of six years before switching, up from the average 4 years before the recession hit. Although the study focuses on American car purchasing habits, Ontario car ownership is expected to follow the same trend. More and more people were looking to save their money during the economic downturn, so they kept their cars longer.

Returning To Market

As these consumers return to the Ontario Used Car and Ontario New Car market, they are almost like a first time buyer. Their brand loyalty is at an all-time low, whether it’s because they’ve been with the same brand for an average of six years and they’re ready for something new, or whether it’s because their lifestyle has changed. Six years is a long time for someone’s car needs to change, and it’s a dealerships job to make sure they grab the attention of the appropriate people who are researching the ontario used car and toronto used cars markets.

The latest data from Polk shows us that 46% of people who change cars at 3 years choose the same brand, and if they wait upto nine years that number decreases to 39%. The decline is gradual each year. Adding to this already measured trend, American and Canadian car dealerships are reporting that more and more people are willing to cross-shop both domestic and import brands, and that features and value are becoming much more important than brand loyalty was in the past. With the new generation of Ontario and Toronto Used Cars shoppers, technology and value are #1 on the list, and finding the right car at the right price is most important. Whether it’s made in Ontario, Germany, Japan, or Korea is not as important as it once was.

Change in Market

As shoppers return to the Toronto Used Cars and Ontario Used Car markets, they realize that things have changed: old familiar brands such as Pontiac, Mercury, and more are now non-existent. The restructuring of domestic brands lead to the drop of many makes and models, and shoppers are having to navigate their way around new model names and designs. A lot of Korean companies that were once ignored in the past now offer much more improved vehicle lineups, with added technology, performance, efficiency, and value. Even typical quality cars like Honda (Used Honda Ontario) and Toyota (Used Toyota Ontario) have lost some market share to these rising brands. The new trend speaks volumes to customer awareness, and shows that Toronto Used Cars and Ontario retailers and automakers cannot rely on their long-time existence and loyal customer base as much as before.

Overall, there are significant customer-inspired changes in the Toronto Used Cars and Ontario Used Cars marketplace as a result of the economic downturn, and spending habits have shaped what is available to shoppers. The change in brands and models, the improved financial situation, and the new shape of the customer base is sure to make dealerships in Toronto and Ontario focus more heavily on customer satisfaction and a greater selection of vehicles.

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