TOKYO: 12 Sept. 2019 — Car shoppers in Japan show a higher interest in safety features in general, while those age 20-39 are more interested in information and communication functions, according to the J.D. Power 2019 Japan New-Vehicle Intender StudySM (NVIS), released today.
“Shoppers are consistently more interested in advanced technologies when looking to purchase a new vehicle,” said Koichi Urayama, Senior Director of the Automotive Division at J.D. Power. “Younger shoppers have a higher interest in information and communication but that growth in interest is still small. It will become increasingly important to provide information about these features and functions, that matches the needs of each customer base.”
Following are key findings of the 2019 study:
Growing popularity of SUVs turns sluggish: Among all body types, 35% of new-vehicle shoppers consider SUVs, a slight increase of 1% from 2018, while minivans and mini-cars are each considered by 30% (both percentages are unchanged from 2018).
Minivans are still considered by younger groups: By age, 36% of new-vehicle shoppers age 20-39 consider minivans (+2% from 2018), while 28% of those age 40-59 (-3% from 2018) and 20% of those age 60-69 (unchanged from 2018) consider the same.
New-vehicle shoppers consult manufacturer or dealership websites: New-vehicle shoppers consult manufacturer or dealership websites most often (35%), followed by internet news or information sites (28%); catalogs or brochures (28%); vehicles on display or test-drive vehicles (22%); and cars seen on the road/parked (21%).
Younger shoppers tend to consult their family and friends or users of the model: By age group, 23% of shoppers aged 20-39 refer to opinions from their family, friends or acquaintances, compared with 15% of shoppers aged 50-69. Also, 20% of younger shoppers refer to word of mouth or review sites, compared with 12% of older shoppers. This indicates that the younger shoppers who have not had much experience in purchasing new vehicles give importance to experience or advice from people who have actually driven or ridden in that model.
Customer loyalty higher among repeat buyers: All brands in the study have higher customer loyalty among repeat buyers. For example, more than 60% of repeat customers for Toyota, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, BMW and Honda consider the same brand as their current vehicle for the next purchase, indicating higher brand loyalty. Overall customer loyalty has improved since 2018 for MINI, Mazda, and Mercedes-Benz, while decreasing for Lexus, Nissan and Volvo.
The study, now in its 5th year, includes 10,000 responses and was fielded online in June-July 2019, examines consumer perceptions of vehicles and the purchase behaviors of those who intend to purchase a new vehicle within the next 12 months. The study also measures purchase decision factors when considering a vehicle for purchase, brand recognition, favorability and impression, as well as consumer interest in new technologies.