There are many different reasons why consumers buy specific car types and models — even in the United States. But, how different are purchase motivations around the world?

To answer this question, Nielsen recently conducted a large-scale online survey in 60 countries:

“’Linking global automotive demand with consumer sentiments and media habits is vital to developing marketing strategies that connect the right consumers with the right automotive brands,’ said Pat Gardiner, president of Nielsen Automotive. ‘The Asia-Pacific and Latin American regions, as expected, represent large areas of growth opportunity for the industry, but capturing this opportunity hinges on marketers successfully identifying, understanding’ and effectively connecting with the needs and desires of these buyers.’”

“One key to unlocking the demand drivers is discerning what role a car plays in the consumer’s life. Is it for utility — simply a mode of transportation to get you from one place to another? Is it to express status — a symbol of the success you’ve achieved in life? Or is it more purely emotional — you just love to drive? While each of these sentiments may play a role in the car-buying decision process, connecting with the emotions that pull at the heartstrings draws consumers more powerfully along the path to purchase.”

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12 Replies to “What Motivates Car Buyers Around the World?”

  1. Marketers always should figure out the real reason that why customers pick certain things but not the others with the same features. Some people looking for cars, simple for utility, while some of others want to express their status. May someone really need a car to travel from home to office, in the meantime, he/she also desire to show his/her status. In order to correctly and effectively satisfy customers’ different needs and demands, marketers should on work on more “why-related questions”. As for the transnational auto companies pay attention to local culture, history, economy also very important.

  2. As with any other product trying to sell globally, the local culture is definitely the biggest aspect to look at. There are however, more than one of the mentioned reasons involved when it comes to buying a car. Most people need a car for the main purpose of transportation. However, just getting any car does not work for them, they have to keep in mind to fit into the circle that they feel they belong to. So while college students would be fine driving second-hand old cars, a family would like to buy a car that serves the family and also is as good or better than their friends or neighbors. It’s true that one of the various reasons have the highest priority, but in most cases, I believe it’s a combination of more than one reason.

  3. I believe that the initial reason a consumer even decides that they will consider purchasing a vehicle is most important. Next, other factors contribute to how much they will pay, what brand they will look at and/or what models fit their needs best. In different cultures, these needs are often similar. As a company expands globally, segmentation is very helpful to ensure they are targeting their market in the right way. Discerning the role that the car plays in a consumers life is the best way to figure out what demands are most important in different countries and cultures. If a brand can meet those specific demands, the can draw their consumers in more efficiently.

  4. To understand what catches people’s eyebrows and then drives them buy products is very import. It mirrors how much you know about your customers’ needs, in other words, how close you can get to your customers. As a marketer, the priority is to understand what customer really needs. Those figures can help them to make sense what the potential market could be, and then design different business strategy for each certain country.

  5. It is so surprising to me that image/status isn’t a higher percentage for North America. Maybe it is because of my age group, but everyone I talk to about cars seem to be interested in one main thing, the manufacturer of the car. There is obviously a rivalry between American and Import, but even within those two markets there are rivalries. What surprised me even more than this was the extremely high percentage South America has under the “enjoy driving” category. I don’t see that as a reason to go buy a car, and it shocked me about how many people in South America see this as important when buying a car. This chart definitely shows how different marketers have to market products in different countries, because people around the world all want different things.

  6. This is a very interesting research. Clearly, the ownership of an automobile means different in different countries, and it also changed overtime. For example, two decades ago in China, own a family car is a reflection of a social status, as there are very few cars on the road and very few people know how to drive, as well as the car price is much higher than what people earned at the time. Nowadays, as people earn more and the localization lead the car price much lower than before, car sales increased a lot and more and more people start to consider the extra function of the car other than a transportation tools based on their affordability.

  7. It’s important to know about why consumers want to purchase because when we purchase the car, there are several things we will consider such as price, function, oil efficiency and shape, but there are various cars match your requirement, we feel confused and hesitated to make the final decision. So the research above give us a good reference to know about the motivation of the consumers. Therefore, the auto sellers and manufacturers could make different marketing strategy and product development in different areas in the world to match the needs of the consumers.

  8. The car market is so various since different group of customers choose car for different function concerns. As for me, a full-time student, I don’t really care if the car could show my identity and social level. Now I just treat car as a basic tool to commute, as long as it’s safe enough to drive and save gas, then it’s enough for me. Some people looking for cars, simple for utility, while some of others want to express their status.

  9. Why consumers buy a specific car types and models? There indeed have so many reasons to answer this question, such as car features, brand positioning, local culture, personal interest, price, reliability, etc. One family may own two or more cars to meet the different needs. Based on Nielsen report, I found Asian may have a stronger motivation when they buy a car (no matter what types of motivators they are). I believe it is because of the local culture and auto companies should seize this kind of consumer behavior to make profit.

  10. Things are certainly different here than other places around the world involving cars. I know that a huge thing here is who makes your car? and the constant showing off and looking better than everyone else. People link status to cars and its just pointless. Hearing that it isnt like that in other places is surprising because we are so used to how it is here but im happy to know that its not like this everywhere else. Brands like BMW and Mercedes are always known as the cars linked to status along with other huge brand names.

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