Consumer Research

When Porsche Outsells Other German Luxury Brands in Brazil

Do you think a Jeep Grand Cherokee is a direct competitor of a Porsche Cayenne? Would you add the Volkswagen Touareg to the competitive set? Well, many Brazilian consumers do. And the results may be surprising. Let me start with the winner in the SUV/crossover segment. Land Rover is the preferred brand. The Range Rover Evoque sells over three times more than vehicle number two, the Volvo XC60. And the Freelander (LR2 in the U.S.) comes right in third place. Looking one length class above, the......
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Which Vehicles Topped Google's Search in Brazil?

When Google released its Zeitgeist 2013, a compilation of the most googled terms of the year, the Hyundai HB20 reached the top spot for the Brazilian automotive industry. It was followed by the Chevrolet Onix and Chevrolet Prisma. The new Volkswagen Golf and the Volkswagen Beetle (locally called Fusca) rounded out the Top 5. The HB20 hatchback, the Onix and the Fusca were launched late in 2012. There is no doubt the HB20 has written its success story in Brazil’s automotive history. With 3,312......
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Will Automotive Luxury Brands Succeed in Brazil?

Do you have the impression that the Brazilian president meets the CEO of an automaker daily? Lately there have been a lot of announcements that OEMs will start – or resume – production in Brazil. This year, Honda and Mercedes-Benz announced new plants, while Audi stated it is coming back to Brazil and making cars in a VW plant where it built the A3 some years ago. VW confirmed it is finally updating the locally made Golf (currently still in its fourth generation). Last year, BMW announced its......
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Exports Hurting Production in Brazil

Tax incentives were very effective in 2012 and helped Brazil reach a new sales record of 3,573,076 light vehicles. With this success, Brazil remained the fourth largest automotive market in the world, just behind China, the United States and Japan. Polk's automotive forecast does include any changes in this ranking in 2013 when sales in Brazil are anticipated to reach 3.63 million light vehicles. However, Brazil's importance declines when we analyze production numbers. Last year, production...
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Toyota Lessons Not To Follow

As Toyota announced it has regained the global sales crown, it makes me think of how the Japanese OEM has wasted its chances in the world's fourth largest market. Not everyone is aware that Toyota opened its first factory outside of Japan within Brazil in 1959, a plant that is currently used to produce parts. For decades, the Brazilian market was closed to imports and Toyota only produced a version of its Land Cruiser. It was a great product for rural areas, but Toyota was far behind its...Read...
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Main Markets in South America Face Protectionism Wave

South America is a very diverse continent. Brazil, its main country, forbids diesel passenger cars and speaks Portuguese, but is surrounded by Spanish speaking countries. French Guiana still belongs to France, something not very common nowadays. Consumer behavior is also different: Toyota, for example, is the market leader in Peru and has a higher share in the countries closer to the Pacific Ocean, while customer loyalty in Brazil and Argentina goes toward brands from Europe and the United...Read...
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Two Hyundais, One Market

At this point in automotive history, nobody denies the importance of Hyundai. According to Polk data, the Korean OEM produced almost 3 million light vehicles worldwide in 2003 and we forecast that its output will reach 8.3 million in 2016. That's a growth of 183%, while on the other hand, GM's production is rather stable during the same period. Part of this growth will come from a brand new factory in Brazil. With an investment of $600 million, Hyundai will start producing a hatchback on... Read...
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Audi's Second Factory in the Americas

There is a lot of buzz about the Audi plant that will be built in San José Chiapa, Mexico. The press refers to it as "Audi's first car plant in the Americas," but this is not correct. Audi produced the A3 in São José dos Pinhais, Brazil between 1999 and 2006, in a factory now totally owned by Audi's parent company, Volkswagen. Golf (still in its fourth generation), Fox and SpaceFox are produced there. It was a joint venture between Audi and Volkswagen – Audi had 25% of the factory.The A3...
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Presidential Candidates: Support the Economy by Making Automotive a Priority

It is a presidential election year, which is creating a flood of advertisements along with politicians pounding on podiums to convince voters they are the best candidate for the job. Politicians present their plans to turn the United States economy around and create jobs. Both parties discuss plans to invest in small companies and sexy high tech companies such as Facebook, and mobile devices including phones and tablets. Too often, they fail to discuss plans to attract and retain...
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One Ford, Not Everywhere

As the July sales numbers were released, Ford and GM made the headlines for their drop, while Chrysler still enjoys its momentum. But Ford’s challenges are not only in the U.S. – and I am not talking about Europe. In Brazil, where the market enjoyed a 22% growth in July, Ford sold 12% less light vehicles compared to June. Its monthly market share slumped to 8.44% from 9.90% in the previous month. Ford, the first OEM to be established in Brazil (1919), has always faced challenges in Latin... Read...
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South America Light Vehicle Forecast Reduced

Polk has just finished updating its light vehicle sales and production forecast, which is made four times a year. For the South American market, the numbers are not as positive as one would expect for emerging countries. We've reduced the sales forecast by 2% for 2012, 3% for next year and 5% for 2014. Regarding production, the forecast was reduced by 3.4%, 2.9% and 1.6% for those same years. The main cause of these reductions is the Brazilian market, which represented 67.3% of the total...
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Asian Automotive Advertising Excellence Celebrated at 3AF Marketing Summit

The Venetian Resort in Las Vegas served as host to the 3AF (Asian American Advertising Federation) The 2012 Annual Asian Marketing Summit on May 16-17. The goal of the annual summit was to share marketing best practices and celebrate the leaders in Asian marketing. With Asian Americans representing one out of every 20 new vehicles purchased in the U.S., it's easy to see why automotive market leaders including Toyota, Honda and Nissan were well represented at the conference.
  • Nissan-Admerasia...
Rea...
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Buick Goes Against Trend and Attracts Younger Buyers

An analysis of new vehicle buyers shows that their average age was 51 years old in 2011, three years older than buyers in 2007. In 2011, 40% of all buyers were aged 55 years or older, up from about 30% just four years earlier. And, in keeping with much commentary about today’s youth, in 2011, only 11% of all new vehicle buyers were aged 34 years or younger, down from almost 16% four years earlier. Perhaps today’s young people indeed do have less interest in cars or perhaps they don’t have the...R...
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What Drives Loyalty Among Luxury Vehicle Buyers?

One of the byproducts of the recent collapse of the automotive industry has been a renewed and some might say "zealous" focus on keeping customers loyal to the brand. There is nothing like a near-death experience that some car manufacturers experienced to shake up any complacency and force a reordering of priorities. And what has risen to the top of the list for almost all OEMs is the question of, "How do we do a better job of keeping our customers loyal – and what causes customers to be...
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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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The Road is a Vehicle Charger

One could hardly argue that oil has provided America, and the world, an increased quality of life for roughly a century. In the same breath, that statement can be turned around in admittance that obtaining and controlling this finite resource has caused an issue or two between the covetous nations. Administrations and environmental activists alike have accusatorily pointed toward major consumers of the substance as profiteers, when attempting to make a point for political or social reasons....Rea...
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The Automotive Zero Moment of Truth

There is no denying the fact that the internet has changed the shopping process for consumers as they're influenced by online search, display advertising, social media and online reviews to more easily make buying decisions about the brands, companies and products they want to purchase. This has always been the case in the automotive world; people often went to the library to pick up an issue of Consumer Reports to check out what kind of car they should buy before schlepping to multiple...Read...
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NHTSA Connected Vehicle Clinics Wrap Up in California

NHTSA wrapped up their Connected Vehicle Safety Pilot Program in California this month, concluding a five month, six city consumer research initiative that assessed driver acceptance of connected vehicle technology. The drivers response to the new connected vehicle technology has been well-received according to Ray Resendes from the U.S. Department of Transportation, who also attended the Summit on the State of the Connected Vehicle hosted by the Connected Vehicle Trade Association last week....R...
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Consumer Choices For Fuel Efficiency

Dependence on foreign oil, increasing fuel costs and concerns for the environment have forced OEMs to develop solutions to improve the efficiency of new vehicles and their response could be seen at the North American International Auto Show which was held in Detroit from January 9 - January 22, 2012. For those consumers wishing to stick with gasoline engines, Mazda's Skyactiv technology is something worth considering. Skyactiv is the combination of an efficient high compression gasoline engine,...
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How are Canadian OEMs Using Facebook?

Social Media is the place to be for any business these days. It provides a direct engagement channel with the consumer that was never possible. Companies are trying hard to attract more and more people to 'Like' their pages. On the other hand, it has also empowered the consumer to have a direct say and play a vital role in shaping the future of a company and their products. A recent Ipsos report states that 60% of all Canadians are online and half of Canadians are registered on social...
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