Published in Automotive

Vehicle Manufacturers’ Secret Sauce: The MaritzCX New Vehicle Customer Study 50-Year Anniversary

Look Who Turned 50!

2019 marks the 50-year anniversary of the MaritzCX New Vehicle Customer Study (NVCS)—the automotive industry’s largest and longest running buyer behavior consumer survey.

The NVCS provides monthly consumer feedback about vehicle shopping, buying patterns, and feature preferences. Automotive manufacturers and OEMs use the NVCS as a road map to modify current vehicles to increase market share, add desired features for new production and hyper-target potential customers.

Ninety percent of North American automotive manufacturers and OEMs rely on the MaritzCX New Vehicle Customer Study for:

  • Monthly buying data to assist in loyalty and product planning
  • Insights into reasons for a purchase
  • Informing forecasts for product planning based on buying trends
  • Issues and reputation management
  • Identifying opportunities related to brand consideration, owner loyalty and reasons for rejection

“Making manufacturing and marketing decisions alone without taking into account the current wants and attitudes of customers is like scuba diving without oxygen,” said Tim Englehart, MaritzCX vice president, Automotive.

“You’re putting yourself at great risk when there is a practical solution. The ability to make decisions—informed by real, reliable, recent customer feedback—gives manufacturers the needed edge to successfully thrive in today’s trans-formative vehicle market.”

With over 256,000 domestic and 50,000 Canadian annual responses from buyers and lessees of approximately 325 car and truck models, automotive manufacturers and OEMs are able to cost-effectively leverage a massive amount of current and historical insight from the long-standing study, versus them each conducting their own proprietary and costly research.

Study Reveals Dramatic Changes in Purchase Preference and Driving Behavior

The 12.5 million responses captured in the NVCS over the last half century has revealed dramatic changes in purchase preference and driving behavior, including:

Segment shifts:

In 1998, cars were 52% of all purchases, trucks 21%, SUVs 19% and vans 8%. Twenty years later, SUVs have become a buyer’s preference at 49%, cars 34%, trucks 15% and van purchases have trickled to 2%.

Brandshare and the rise of imports:

Between 1998 and 2018, U.S. market share of Japanese brands increased 18 percentage points, European brands increased 3 percentage points and Korean brands increased over 7 percentage points; while domestic brands’ U.S. market share fell 28 percentage points.

Evolving driving innovations:

In 2016, questions about autonomous vehicle feature satisfaction were added to the survey. Luxury and non-luxury buyers are satisfied most by blind spot warning and cross-traffic alert features followed by lane departure warning and auto brake assist.

Changing transportation behaviors:

Ride-sharing considerations were added in 2018 and demonstrated that 13% of buyers rated using their vehicle for a ride share service as an important purchase reason. It also indicated that 29% of 2018 buyers indicated they have used a ride-sharing service; up from 4% in 2017.

Top Consumer-Rated Vehicles Unveiled with Launch of eNVy Awards

The NVCS is consistently adapting to match technology and customer sophistication, mainstay measures of the NVCS include vehicle comfort, quality, performance, safety and ownership cost.

To mark the golden anniversary of the NVCS, MaritzCX unveils the first ever eNVy awards to recognize vehicle models for earning top overall customer ratings in NVCS.

The eNVy awards are the ultimate consumer-based accolade for vehicle manufacturers as they are recognized and celebrated for their excellence. The eNVy Awards recognize vehicle manufacturers in the United States. Award recipients are determined based on a full year of NVCS score responses from thousands of buyers who purchased new 2018 model year vehicles.

Join us in congratulating the first-annual eNVy award winners.