Hyundai feels the love, Holden looks for rejection therapy

In 2007, almost two in five New Zealanders who planned to buy a new car in the next four years said they would ‘definitely would not consider’ any Hyundai model. But, showing how perceptions can be changed quickly with quality products and solid marketing to back them up, the latest automotive brand rejecter results from Roy Morgan Research show this proportion has now halved, and effectively increased Hyundai’s available market by 25 percent.

Of the Motor Industry Association’s top five manufacturers by car sales for 2012, Hyundai, which was best known for its vans and trucks not too long ago, has made the most progress—albeit from a level almost double that of then second-most rejected Ford—on changing the opinion of car buyers over the past five years (maybe it’s something in the South Korean water, as Samsung has also gone from a dried fish exporter to a tech behemoth that’s giving Apple a run for its money and Kia is also on the march). 


The former high level of rejection effectively reduced Hyundai’s potential target market of 200,000 or so new car intenders to under 130,000. There are still around 200,000 new car intenders, but Hyundai’s receptive market is now 162,000 of them.

Rejection of Car Makes among Purchase Intenders

Purchase the latest detailed Roy Morgan New Zealand Automotive ProfilesSource: Roy Morgan Single Source (New Zealand), December 2006 — November 2012. Average annual sample n = 659. 12 month moving average.

Rejection is also down on 2007 levels for Ford (down 4.5 percent points, or the equivalent of around 22 percent of their former brand rejecters), Mazda (3.8 percent points, or 21 percent) and Toyota (three percent points, or 21 percent).

Of the top five, only Holden has moved backward, going from the fourth ‘least rejected’ brand in 2007 to the most rejected today, ahead of Hyundai: more than one in five prospective car buyers now say they definitely won’t consider Holden.

“In the past five years, all of the top five car manufacturers—bar Holden—have begun to reduce the level of rejection toward them,” says Pip Elliott, general manager, Roy Morgan Research NZ, says. ”This is equivalent to an expansion of their target markets and the number of imminent buyers who are responsive to their advertising and marketing messages. Car manufacturers are competing for market share in a flat marketplace. Targeting the sizeable chunk of buyers who currently reject their brand is a way for the top makers to expand their market. Hyundai has introduced many new models into New Zealand over the past five years, and coupled that with extensive marketing campaigns and sponsorship arrangements such as Country Calendar, to halve the rate of rejection toward it.”

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