Premium Consumers Offer Glimmer Of Hope To Struggling Car Industry – Porsche Tops The List.
According to Roy Morgan data a new economic order of premium consumers (NEOs) could breathe life into the nation’s struggling car industry. One-in-seven NEOs (14.9%) intended to buy a new vehicle in the next four years during the March quarter 2020 – 54% above the comparable figure for all Australians (9.6%).
Australia’s 5 million NEOs spend and invest more, and more frequently, than anyone else. They change and adapt so quickly; they are Australia’s future shapers. It’s no surprise, therefore, that they intend to buy new cars in the near term. And, notably, the top 50% of NEOs – known as Super NEOs – are almost 80% more likely than the average Australian to buy a new car in the next 4 years.
Conversely, Australia’s 10 million traditional consumers are 30% less likely than the population to buy a new car in the next 4 years. Aspiring NEOs, with the NEO mindset but not the buying power, are more likely than Traditionals, but less likely than NEOs, to be planning to buy a car in the next four years.
Intention to buy a New Car (Next 4 Years): Jan-Mar 2020
Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), January – March 2020, n=10,852. Base: Australians 14+
According to Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine, NEOs buy cars not as status symbols to impress others, but rather as a whispered secret to themselves.
“Porsche is the perfect example. NEOs are 80% more likely than the average Australian to buy a Porsche in the next 4 years, and that puts Porsche at the top of the premium list.
“NEOs are seduced more by the Porsche pedigree, design beauty, and authenticity than by the brand as a status symbol or statement of importance.”
NEO Preferred Car Brands (Index: calculated by the proportional difference in purchase intention between NEOs and all Australians)
1. Porsche (NEOs 80% more likely than the population)
2. Audi (76%)
3. BMW (70%)
4. Volvo (70%)
5. Volkswagen (46%)
According to Ms. Levine, the new economic order of premium consumers constantly evolves. “Australia’s 5 million NEOs are inconspicuous consumers who spend less on traditional products and more on creating emotional experiences; investing in brands and experiences that are authentic. NEOs change and adapt so quickly; they are Australia’s future shapers.
“NEOs represent a rare opportunity for vehicle brands to sell new cars in a market already in decline and decimated by the COVID financial crisis. And yet marketers in the passenger vehicle sector still tend to focus on Australia’s 10 million low-spending traditional consumers.”
She believes it will be a two-speed recovery and that the fast lane is already being driven by Australia’s NEO consumers: “The focus has been on the decline in new car sales in Australia over the past year, and it’s true they have declined on a monthly year-over-year basis for two years.
“However, this rear vision view ignores the positive news coming from the premium consumers who have a much higher new vehicle buying intention than all other Australians combined.
“In the wake of the COVID-19 shutdowns during March-April-May, new vehicle sales were always going to decline massively as Australians went into lockdown.
“Identifying the premium consumers who will recover first and fastest has therefore never been more important. It is the key to finding the fast lane to recovery in the post-recessionary period.”
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