A recent survey of almost 6,300 car drivers in Ireland by 123.ie has revealed that despite the recent controversy surrounding Volkswagen’s emissions claims, over three quarters of VW owners have not been put off the German car brand, with 78% stating that that the scandal has not affected their likelihood of a repeat purchase.
And when it comes to owners of other car brands, almost 54% of non-Volkswagen owners reported that the scandal would not put them off buying a VW in the future.
The results should offer some glimmer of hope for the embattled brand, which was back in the news recently as the US Government stated its intention to sue for the misdemeanour.
The 123.ie Great Irish Car Review, which was carried out by one of Ireland’s leading car insurers, covered a range of issues including brand loyalty and the effect of running costs, such as repairs, on remaining loyal.
“We’re surprised but not shocked by people’s reaction to the Volkswagen scandal,” said Padraig O’Neill, head of marketing, 123.ie. “According to SIMI (Society of Irish Motor Industry), there was more new VW’s registered in Ireland in 2015 than any other passenger vehicle at 15,369 or 12.3% of the market.
And whilst Toyota outperformed VW in Ireland in December 2015, it still captured the number two slot for new car registrations in the final month of the year.
So whilst the company’s share price and reputation have certainly taken a battering, this hasn’t translated into a decline in sales in Ireland and VW owners appear to be very brand loyal.”
The 123.ie Great Irish Car Review shows that overall, car buyers in Ireland are a loyal bunch, with nearly two thirds (62%) stating that they will stick with their current brand, when changing car.
Brand loyalty increases with experience and age – 72% of over 65’s state that they would buy the same brand versus 60% of under 25’s.
The newer your car the more likely you are to stick with that brand; 72% with cars of less than five years old say they would stay with that brand. This compares to half (50%) of those with cars 15 years or older, who are more willing to change brand.
The cost of repairs has a strong impact on brand loyalty according to the 123.ie Great Irish Car Review. Around half (49%) of those who spent €2,000 or more on car repairs in the last year are likely to be brand loyal but of those who spent less than €100, 71% are likely to be brand loyal.