SALESFUEL TODAY

Auto Conquesting on the Rise

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Automakers count on the loyalty of repeat buyers for a significant part of their business. But if they are to  dealershipincrease market share, auto marketers need exciting new vehicles, promotional angles, and ad campaigns to steal customers away from other brands. This concept, known as conquesting, is on the rise, especially for American brands which are touting quality improvements in their latest models.

Customer loyalty remains key for automakers and the latest numbers from R.L. Polk Automotive show that Ford has the highest rate while VW enjoyed the highest jump in loyalty over the past year. As the recession fades and more buyers move into the market, automakers are preparing to increase their conquests.  While quality improvements are helping, so are the number of new models rolling onto the market. At a recent National Automobile Dealers Association Convention and Expo meeting, Deirdre Borrego of J.D. Power noted that “as new models have launched, portfolios have expanded.”  Brands that are enjoying the most success with conquests currently include Cadillac and Buick.

One fading effect of the recession is also linked to the trend of consumers switching brands. During the recent recession, fewer leases were written so fewer consumers are now coming back to the dealership with a trade-in. This means the dealership has fewer opportunities to sell to a captive market.

All major automakers will be carefully balancing their marketing messages to court both loyal buyers as well as crossover buyers this year. Dealerships will likely get into this competition as well and can increase their visibility with existing customers by promoting their service departments.

[Source: Burden, Melissa. Auto buyers trading in loyalty for lure of new models. Detroitnews.com. 11 Mar. 2013. Web. 27 Mar. 2013]

 

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.