There are currently 200,000 Kiwis in the market for a new car in the next four years, and a myriad of makes for them to choose from. Obviously, some automotive brands feature on many wish-lists and stand to benefit when these new car intenders start shopping in earnest. Others are ‘rejected’ before they can even be considered. Over the last five years, however, several of these ‘rejected’ brands have redeemed themselves in the eyes of the car-buying public to crack the Top 10 of New Zealand’s least rejected makes.
Hyundai continues to make great inroads into the New Zealand market. In the 12 months to January 2014, 20.6% of Kiwi new car intenders named Hyundai as a brand they would ‘definitely not consider buying’ — a substantial decrease from 36.3% in the year to January 2009. As a result, Hyundai’s potential customer base has grown by 38,000 people.
Volkswagen is another noteworthy improver, having cut its rejection rate from 31.3% to 26.2% over the same period. Both brands now sit well below the average industry rejection rate of 40.5%.
Top 10 least ‘rejected’ car brands in New Zealand
Source: Roy Morgan Research Single Source: Feb2008 – Jan2009 (n = 11,454) and Feb2013 – Jan2014 (n = 12,480).
Of the 10 least ‘rejected’ brands in New Zealand, only Honda and Subaru have experienced downturns in popularity since 2009. Toyota consolidated its compelling lead as the country’s least rejected automotive make (just 9.0% of new car intenders wouldn’t consider it when buying their next vehicle), while Nissan and Mazda’s rejection rates also fell.
Although New Zealanders seem to be becoming more accepting of major auto brands, highly ‘rejected’ brands such as Geely, Proton and Great Wall have become even more so, all hovering around the 70% rejection rate.
Pip Elliott, General Manager, Roy Morgan Research NZ, says:
“Over the last five or six years, Hyundai’s popularity among New Zealand’s new car intenders has skyrocketed. As we reported last year, much of the brand’s improvement is due to several new models being introduced into the local market, combined with high-profile marketing campaigns and sponsorship deals. It’s encouraging to see that with genuine effort and improvements, a brand can turn its fortunes around and establish itself as a real contender.
“Volkswagen is another case in point: as an official partner of the New Zealand Olympic Committee, it counts on several of our best athletes as brand ambassadors, and also sponsors the Motatapu mountain bike and off-road running event. These high-profile associations appear to be contributing towards its growing favour among Kiwi motorists.
“The latest report from the Motor Industry Association shows that the top five auto brands sold in January this year were Toyota, Ford, Holden, Nissan and Hyundai – convincing proof that low rejection rates translate directly into high sales figures. People don’t just walk into a car showroom and point to the nearest vehicle that takes their fancy: reputation is everything!”
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Roy Morgan Research
Roy Morgan Research is Australia's best known and longest established market research and public opinion survey company. Roy Morgan Single Source is thorough, accurate, and provides comprehensive, directly applicable information about current and future customers. It is unique in that it directs all the questions to each individual from a base survey sample of around 55,000 interviews in Australia and 15,000 interviews in New Zealand annually - the largest Single Source databases in the world. The questions asked relate to lifestyle and attitudes, media consumption habits (including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, cinema, catalogues, pay TV and the Internet), brand and product usage, purchase intentions, retail visitations, service provider preferences, financial information and recreation and leisure activities. This lead product is supported by a nationally networked, consultancy-orientated market research capability.
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