A recent study by puls market research and the mobility finance platform provides market participants with valuable insights into customer preferences, new sales channels and untapped potentials.
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It is well known in the automotive industry that financial services are a key factor when buying a car. How decisive credit, leasing and subscription offers are for vehicle choice, loyalty and brand preference, among other things, has now been investigated in more detail by pulse market research on behalf of the mobility finance platform (mfp). The results were presented in Cologne on Thursday.
According to the study, financial services have a particularly strong impact on the choice of car. Customers of car banks and leasing companies not only equip their new cars much better (51 percent), but also afford a more expensive model than they thought (38 percent). In addition, they create the new car earlier than originally planned (29 percent). In addition, four out of ten potential buyers of used cars decide to buy a new car after all because of attractive financing offers.
Also positive for manufacturers and retailers: financial services significantly accelerate vehicle turnover. Customers of car banks currently use their new cars for an average of five years, while leasing customers use them for 4.1 years. For cash buyers, on the other hand, the holding period is significantly longer at 6.9 years. "Thanks to monthly installments in line with their budgets, car bank customers always drive vehicles that are "state of the art" in terms of safety and ecology, explained peter renkel, CEO and founder of the mobility finance platform.
Financial services also have a major impact on brand loyalty: more than half of new car customers (54 percent) who use financial services are loyal. This is particularly true for leasing customers (57 percent). In contrast, only 48 percent of cash buyers choose the same car brand again. The values in the used car segment are somewhat lower, but equally pronounced.
Mfp study automotive banks 2021
The high value of automotive financial services is also reflected in consumers’ information behavior. One in two leasing or financing customers (51 percent) is already looking for the right financial services partner before deciding on a car brand. Renkel: "attractive offers, whether financing, leasing or subscription models, are therefore of the utmost importance at an early stage of the customer journey and can even be decisive for the choice of brand.".
Digital sales channels on the rise
For car bank customers, stationary brand dealerships continue to be the central point of contact for the purchase of a new or used car. However, digital channels are rapidly gaining in importance- and not just since corona. According to the study, more than half of the customers surveyed (55 percent) can imagine ordering a future new vehicle via the manufacturer’s website and also taking out the appropriate financial services directly online.
"When purchasing a vehicle, consumers today expect the complete portfolio of offers, including financial services online", stressed renkel. A key success factor for the market players is to consistently drive forward the interlinking of online and offline offerings.
And in which direction are the cash payers tending? In the new car sector, one in two can imagine financing, leasing or subscribing to the next car. 60 percent of used car customers are open to corresponding offers. However, almost one in two cash buyers do not currently receive any active financial services offer at the dealership, according to renkel. "There is still a lot of room for improvement." There is therefore still plenty of growth potential for the various market players.
For the representative market study "automotive banks 2021 pulse market research surveyed in spring 2021 around 2.000 new and used car buyers surveyed.