Why Brand Loyalty Is Dead For Car Buyers

Tue 9th Nov 2021

The era of car buyers sticking to one particular car brand through their entire driving life may be over according to new analysis which suggests a shortage of new cars is making buyers look elsewhere.

The shortage of semiconductors across the industry has meant that there will be thousands of disappointed car buyers hoping to jump behind the latest model of their favourite brand, and that frustration could see loyalty put to the sternest test.

With some manufacturers unable to meet orders and demand far outstripping supply, there is a serious shortage of options and according to Autovia some brands could be set to lose custom to their rivals. Their analysis shows that the number of people wanting to buy a car has jumped to 41 per cent over the past three months, a staggering high compared to the previous peak of 12 per cent in November 2017.

“The disruptions of the past two years have reversed the usual pattern we see in data for car-buying intentions,” said John Webb, head of automotive data for Autovia.

"Despite the frustrations that led to 72% failing to find the right car at the right price over the last six months, half of the people we questioned still hope to find a car imminently and that rises to 69% when looking to purchase over the next six months.

"We're seeing a pressure cooker of demand in a market that still can't hope to satisfy consumer appetite and many commentators saying that production problems are likely to continue into the second half of 2022.

“Perhaps the most significant finding in our data is that almost half of the huge number of hopeful buyers are prepared to change their choice of car.

"This is a red flag for brand loyalty because motorists are likely to switch makes to find the comparable size and body style they originally set their hearts on.”

There is a sliver of hope for the industry, while 17.9 per cent say the car they want is not available, there are only 7 per cent of buyers postponing a new car purchase indefinitely.