The IHS Automotive Blog | Driven by Polk

Automotive Customer Loyalty - Who's Winning and How?

It's not always about who has the largest market share or the broadest product line. Sometimes repeat sales for OEMs and dealers are fruitful when you're a small player, too. Yesterday, Polk issued a press release of customer loyalty on automakers who beat the industry average by looking at first quarter results.  What did we find?
  • Thirteen brands exceeded the average industry increase for make loyalty when we compared buyer behavior from Q1 2012 and Q1 2013. The first three months of the...
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Customer Loyalty - Dealers and Customers Win

For the U.S. automotive industry, superior customer loyalty was recognized this week. I had the pleasure of watching our customers receive the annual Polk Automotive Loyalty Awards in Detroit as part of the overall activities surrounding the 2013 NAIAS (North American International Auto Show). It's a great feeling knowing OEMs and their dealer networks are working like crazy to make the buying and vehicle ownership experience richer, truer and highly relevant for their customers. As in past... Re...
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Autos in 2013 and Beyond - Industry Trends to Watch

Many of you may be returning to work this week after an extended vacation around the holiday season. Welcome back! I'll keep this blog short and informative. It's 2013 and the world didn't end last month as the Mayans (supposedly) predicted. Given this, we can officially remove Mayan prognosticators from the category of a legitimate forecasting entity. However, Polk has a few predictions. They go something like this: 
  1. New auto sales for 2013 will jump 6.6 percent over last year. Our U.S....
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Threats to Upsell Opportunities in the Automotive Aftermarket

I rely on some form of a "mileage countdown" system when tracking the time to change the oil in my car. Whether it's an electronic display on my dashboard or a sticker in the upper lefthand corner of my windshield, I'm regularly comparing my current mileage against the target that commands a visit to my local lube/oil shop. Unfortunately, it's kind of like waiting for your alarm clock to hit the magical point when the buzzer goes off early in the morning. You know it's coming, but you really...Re...
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Americans are Holding their Vehicles Longer...is it Good for Loyalty?

As someone who works in the auto industry, knowing how long Amercians hold onto their car or truck gives me a sense of what future sales demand may look like--"demand" in terms of selling replacement parts and service as well as understanding factors that impact new vehicle sales. We're all looking for "demand signals," right? Polk's research shows that as of the second quarter of 2012, the average number of months that both new and used vehicle owners hold onto their vehicles is climbing....
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Two Key Reasons Why Automotive Sales in BRIC Should Be On Your Radar

Welcome to a series of blog posts about the global automotive market based on a paper that I recently worked on with a set of colleagues that discusses important strategic questions for automotive business planners. For those of you interested in the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China), this blog focuses on the question, "Will BRIC countries continue to drive organic growth in the automotive industry?" Answer: Yes! Why? Of the 38 percent jump Polk expects to see for global light... R...
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Four Facts You Should Know About the Japanese Auto Recovery

My global colleagues just prepared a brief analysis of the car market in Japan. While 2012 is certainly better than last year's struggle, the outlook for 2013 and beyond will be an uphill climb. For you crystal-ball gazers, here are four automotive forecast views that Polk has about the Japanese auto market:
  1. In 2011, Japan sold 3.5 million new cars and for comparison's sake, during the first half of 2012, new car sales rose by 57 percent compared to the first half of 2011.  
  2. For the full-year...
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Facebook & Cars

Facebook has a big day today. I imagine many employees will thoroughly enjoy their happy hour after they leave their offices in Menlo Park and other locations. Mark Zuckerberg...he's going to certainly relish his ringing of the NASDAQ bell in New York. Third largest IPO many analysts say. Crazy. Auto folks - you're watching, right? Of course you are. New media has been emerging and in the eyes of the business community, and consumer sector, Facebook appears to have something to offer. Debate... R...
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Are You Holding Your Vehicle Longer?

Americans continue to hold on to their cars and trucks longer than ever before. Nearly six years (71 months) among new vehicle owners is the latest trend. New Polk consumer research shows the opportunities for professionals managing OEM aftersales and the automotive aftermarket operations should have a lot to look forward to given this trend. It's about parts and service business, folks. Two years ago, I posted a blog on the same behavior and when we started to see a real incline in the...
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Hyundai: Drifting = Good

If you appreciate automotive marketing that blends mild humor while showcasing product performance, you'll enjoy this video from Hyundai. The main point of their message? A rear-wheel drive Genesis can "drift" like no other car! Another clip featuring the same driver, Rhys Millen, shows him conquering Pike's Peak with the Red Bull Hyundai Genesis RM580 in order to demonstrate this similar feat on a treacherous stretch of mountain road. // So is the Hyundai brand "drifting" in a slow and...
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Dealers and Customer Loyalty

A lot of what we do for our clients is about helping them measure, coach and improve customer loyalty. Over the last three years, we have seen an incredible level of interest among our OEM clients to try to aggressively help their dealers succeed in this area. Dealer loyalty is an objective rivaling, yet complementing, customer satisfaction scores. It's a big deal if a retail operation is successfully, with hard science to back it, bringing owners back to their store. And OEMs want them to...Read...
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Shopping for Our First Used Car

My eldest son is nearly 17 years old and we are looking for a used car for him to drive. It's summer, he's out of school right now, and he's savvy with online shopping sites and tends to have a strong opinion of what he wants to be seen driving. So I asked him to invest the time to start preparing a short list of vehicles he'd like to own (he tends to likes SUVs). Last week I gave him an assignment: find a used vehicle under our agreed upon price point, located within 75 miles of our home and...R...
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Are Automotive Sales Trends Dictated by Your Waistline?

Okay, this article "Analysts Say Americans are Too Fat to Buy Small Cars in Big Numbers" is sad and humorous in my view. It's an assessment of how misaligned OEMs may be with building or selling cars and trucks for the American population which seems to be growing in personal girth. While I'm saddened by Americans' obesity statistics that reveal adverse "growth rates," I have to question the implied correlation of overweight humans and the dislike for small cars. One does not trigger the...
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Scrappage...Got Personal

For those of you who have been in a crash while driving or being a passenger in an automobile, you'll identify with me. If you will, allow me to share my thoughts hailing from a personal auto wreck experience late last month (April 2011).Driving home from work, literally 5 minutes from the office, I was rear-ended while sitting at a stop light by a large SUV who simply forgot to put on the brakes. Wrong place at the wrong time I guess. My precious Mazda6 is thrown into the intersection and...Read...
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Prii and Wii

If you haven't heard, the plural of the Toyota Prius is now Prii. Thus, based off one popular model, Toyota just added a few more hybrids to its line-up.   So the new Prii monicker got me thinking about another popular double-'i' term: Nintendo's Wii. Nintendo's latest video-game system has some interesting comparisons to this hybrid car. Here's a comparison between the two products. Warning to reader: this is not based on rigorous consumer research. Okay, so what else am I missing when you...Rea...
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Customer Loyalty Comes from the Heart and Mind

I love it when other professionals support a similar point of view. Take a look at Liz Glagowski's post on automotive loyalty. Liz, a member of 1to1 Media was kind enough to notice our loyalty awards from last month. More importantly, she takes note of how "loyalty" is NOT only based on repurchase behavior, despite that's what our awards are primarily based upon. So Liz, I concur! People need to have a personal affinity - an emotional link to a brand. And when it comes to cars, boy do we...
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Luxury Market Laughing at Death

Do you care if your brakes on your car work really well? It's one of those basic attributues we expect when buying a vehicle.  Take a look at this 2010 ad for the Mercedes-Benz E Class titled Sorry. I think it's a masterpiece in demonstrating the raw benefit of their braking technology. Automotive marketing works when it triggers emotion and humor. Nice job to the agency Jung von Matt/Neckar! Posted by Lonnie Miller, Vice President, Marketing & Industry Analysis, Polk (02.08.2011) Read More »
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Who Likes Trucks?

High fuel costs...CAFE standards...an increasing number of small cars sold in the U.S...you would think pickups, SUVs and their brethren are a dying breed. I don't think so. Take a look at this chart. If you are an OEM motivating your dealer network to stock trucks, SUVs, minivans or full-size vans, well here is your geographic road map. Nationally, over half of all new retail registrations fall under the broader "truck" category. By 2015, we don't expect this proportion to exceed 52% of all...Re...
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Swagger Wagon Gone Crazy

I don't know why it stands out to me, but Toyota's wild spin on trying to make their Sienna minivan hip really appealed to me last spring. Well, this week at the 2011 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, I saw another execution of automotive marketing for Toyota. They have a concept version of the Sienna.  It's nearly 4 feet longer and has a variety of crazy interior offerings. Some say it adds a little SEMA-feel to the Detroit show (I agree!). Whatever they say, I think it's...Read...
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Minivans: The Debate Continues

The Wall Street Journal's review of the Honda Odyssey isn't over the top and they basically call it an ugly minivan. But this puppy sells in its category and has been the volume leader for at least 5 years. For the first 9 months of this year, Odyssey registrations were 31% higher than second place Toyota Sienna and 63% higher than third-ranked Chrysler Town & Country. While the entire minivan segment has shrunk, Odyssey's dominance prevails. As the review author, Dan Neil, notes, "The...
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