A new study has looked into the role that trust plays in the car-buying process. It reveals that younger car buyers – so-called ‘Millennials’ (aged 21-34) and ‘Generation Z’ (aged 21 and under) – trust the motor industry most. They believe that car brands put the customer and society first.
Older buyers are more cynical about the industry, including its intentions, transparency and reliability. Just 27 percent of ‘Generation X’ – those aged 35-54 – said they thought it can be trusted. The ‘Baby Boomers (aged 55-64) thought even less of car brands, with just 15 percent saying they trusted them.
In fact, more than a third (36 percent) said they actively distrusted car brands. CarGurus, which conducted the survey, describes them as ‘world-weary’. This compares with 37 percent of younger respondents who thought the industry could be trusted to do the right thing.
How can car manufacturers build trust?
There are five key factors the CarGurus Trust Index focused on: integrity, transparency, genuineness, social conscience and reliability.
Integrity and a marque’s ability to deliver on promises topped the list, with 81 percent saying this was important. Reliability (79 percent), transparency (75 percent) and genuineness (72 percent) followed.
“The good news for the car industry is that the younger generation, which is crucial to the future of the sector, has a level of trust in car brands,” said Madison Gross, director of consumer insights at CarGurus.
“The work that manufacturers are doing to move towards electrification and adopt a greener approach to building cars is, doubtless, playing a big part in engendering that trust.
“As these are the car buyers of tomorrow, it’s important that businesses continue to enhance that relationship with Gen Z and Millennial buyers.
Women have less trust in car brands
Overall women are much more suspicious of the car industry than men. Only 26 percent have faith in the good intentions of carmakers. Integrity (82 percent) and transparency (78 percent) are areas where women over-indexed in terms of their perceived importance. Men had them at 80 and 72 percent respectively.
Furthermore, more than half (52 percent) said they weren’t sure where they stood with car companies.
“It’s clear that more needs to be done by carmakers in how they serve female car buyers,” Gross continued.
“Studies show that women are quite often the key shopping decision-makers in relationships. Despite this, the car industry is historically a male-dominated environment. That needs to change if the sector is to harness the power of the female buyer.”