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Perceptions of Auto Brands - US - June 2017

Perceptions of Auto Brands - US - June 2017

"Brand perception for automotive companies is critical to success since consumers are so infrequently in the market for a vehicle. Past experiences, reputation, and word of mouth are crucial factors that play a role in shaping consumers’ choices before they even decide on what to purchase. For success in the marketplace, brands need to identify their strengths and weaknesses and address them to their target audience."

- Buddy Lo, Automotive Analyst

This Report discusses the following key topics:

New vehicle sales expected to plateau for 2017
Outside of top four, brands struggle in brand perception
Diesel emission scandals erode trust in auto manufacturers


OVERVIEW
What you need to know
Definition
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
The issues
Figure 1: Total US unit sales and forecast of new cars and light trucks, 2011-21
Figure 2: Brand perceptions, March 2017
The opportunities
Figure 3: Attitudes toward car brands, by age and gender, March 2017
What it means
THE MARKET
What You Need to Know
New vehicle sales expected to plateau for 2017
Low gas prices stall demand for efficiency
Recalls and scandals scare off car buyers
Market Factors
Recalls and scandals can turn shoppers away
Low gas prices put less emphasis on fuel efficiency
Figure 4: US gasoline and diesel retail prices, January 2007-April 2017
Longer-lasting vehicles impact purchase decisions
Figure 5: Average age of vehicles, 1996-2016
KEY PLAYERS
What You Need to Know
Ford, Chevrolet, Toyota, and Honda are the top four brands in sales
Nissan Rogue top-selling non-pickup truck in the US in start of 2017
Ford and GM seek to rebrand as mobility companies
Vehicle Sales by Brand
Total new vehicle sales by brand – 2016
Figure 6: Units sold and market share, by brand, 2016
What’s Working?
Nissan Rogue charges to the top of the sales chart
Ram’s “longest lasting pickup truck” reputation sticks
Figure 7: Ram pickup truck direct mail, March 2017
What’s Struggling?
Volkswagen hopes to shed emission scandal with heavy EV investments
What’s Next?
Ford and General Motors seek to rebrand as mobility companies
THE CONSUMER
What You Need to Know
Brand perceptions vary by demographics and interest in vehicle types
Half of consumers won’t buy a car made abroad
Younger women are an ideal audience to conquest other brands
Vehicle Types Considered
Sedans and SUVs top body style considerations for car shoppers
Figure 8: Vehicle types, March 2017
Figure 9: Vehicle types, by SUV, crossover, and wagon/hatchback shoppers, March 2017
Men more likely than women to consider specialized vehicle types
Figure 10: Vehicle types, by gender, March 2017
Brand Perceptions
General population brand perceptions
Figure 11: Brand perceptions, March 2017
Car shoppers’ brand perceptions
Figure 12: Brand perceptions, by car shoppers, March 2017
Brand perceptions by gender
Figure 13: Select brand perceptions – Toyota, by gender, March 2017
Figure 14: Select brand perceptions – Jeep, by gender, March 2017
Figure 15: Select brand perceptions – Ford, by gender, March 2017
Brand perceptions by generation
Figure 16: Brand perceptions – Toyota, by iGeneration, March 2017
Figure 17: Brand perceptions – Dodge, by iGeneration, March 2017
Figure 18: Brand perceptions – Volkswagen, by iGeneration, March 2017
Figure 19: Brand perceptions – Jeep, by Millennials and non-Millennials, March 2017
Figure 20: Brand perceptions – Toyota, Chevrolet, Honda, Ford, and Jeep, March 2017
Figure 21: Brand perceptions – Jeep, by Generation X, March 2017
Figure 22: Brand perceptions – Kia, by Generation X, March 2017
Figure 23: Brand perceptions – Volkswagen, by Generation X, March 2017
Brand perceptions by race/ethnicity
Figure 24: Brand perceptions, by Asians, March 2017
Figure 25: Brand perceptions – Kia, by ethnicity and Hispanic origin, March 2017
Figure 26: Brand perceptions – Nissan, March 2017
Figure 27: Brand perceptions – High performance, by ethnicity and Hispanic origin, March 2017
Brand perceptions by body style interest
Figure 28: Brand perceptions – Toyota and Honda, by sedan shoppers, March 2017
Figure 29: Brand perceptions – Jeep and GMC, by SUV shoppers, March 2017
Figure 30: Brand perceptions – Subaru and Volkswagen, by crossover shoppers and wagon/hatchback shoppers, March 2017
Figure 31: Average percentage of brand perceptions across all categories, by pickup truck shoppers, March 2017
Figure 32: Brand perceptions, by hybrid and electric vehicle shoppers, March 2017
Figure 33: Brand perceptions, by minivan shoppers, March 2017
Attitudes toward Car Brands
Less than half of car owners enjoy driving their own car
Figure 34: Attitudes toward car brands, March 2017
Younger women are less brand loyal than men and older women
Figure 35: Attitudes toward car brands, by age and gender, March 2017
Convertible and sports car shoppers self-identify with brands
Figure 36: Attitudes toward car brands, by vehicle type, March 2017
Factors Influencing Perceptions
Price and gas mileage are the most prominent influencers
Figure 37: Factors influencing perceptions, March 2017
Gas mileage often ranks in top five but is rarely the top factor
Figure 38: Factors influencing perceptions, by ranking, March 2017
Parents with children in the household influenced by family and friends
Figure 39: Factors influencing perceptions, by minivan shoppers and parental status, March 2017
Attitudes toward Domestic and Foreign Brands
Nearly half of consumers would consider a vehicle not made in America
Figure 40: Attitudes toward domestic and foreign brands, March 2017
Younger generations can be turned by good reviews or price
Figure 41: Attitudes toward domestic and foreign brands, by generation, March 2017
Country of origin more important than the brand
Figure 42: Attitudes toward domestic and foreign brands, March 2017
APPENDIX
Data Sources and Abbreviations
Data sources
Abbreviations and terms
Key Players
Figure 43: Top 15-selling non-pickup truck models, January-May 2017
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
US Research Methodology
Consumer research
The Mintel fan chart

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