New car and EV owners may be key to retaining model and brand loyalty, new research reveals
Women and electric car owners are more likely to stick to their guns on initial model choices than any other segment of car-buying customers.
The finding comes from Driver Power, Britain's biggest survey of car buying behaviour.
Published by Autovia, the country's leading publisher of automotive advice and information, through its Auto Express magazine and website, Driver Power dives into the hearts and minds of up to 60,000 car buyers annually to understand which factors shape their decisions and choices.
Driver Power also reveals that men are more likely than women to consider a wider range of models when shopping for a car.
According to a snapshot of 1,245 people questioned who bought their current car within the past two years, 19% settled on the model they were initially interested in and did not consider any others. But in the case of women this figure rises to 26%, with a similar proportion for those who currently own an EV.
In general, car buyers are most likely to work from a shortlist of three or four models - the figure reported by 50% of the sample. The third most common response, reported by 14% of buyers, was to have considered just one other model before buying their existing car.
But potentially most significant for manufacturers and dealers is that those people who bought new or chose an electric vehicle consistently picked from fewer competing choices. This suggests that in the growing practice of ongoing customer contact and relationship building, concentrating on previous new car buyers, EV owners and women may deliver better returns on loyalty.
Steve Fowler, Editor-in-Chief of Autovia, said: "This insight will be of huge value for automotive businesses that are pursuing increasingly sophisticated customer contact and loyalty-building programmes because it suggests that some buyer segments are much less likely to shop around for their cars.
"In the case of EV owners it is perhaps less surprising that buyers consider a smaller range of options because the choices remain relatively limited. But if dealers want to prevent the loss of customers to conquest sales by rivals, our data suggest that existing EV owners and women who bought new last time may be most receptive to efforts to maintain their loyalty next time."