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Smart Insights: Automotive

The global automotive industry is facing change on two fronts: a shifting industry landscape of emerging markets and increasing environmental regulations, and evolving consumer behavior and expectations.

To remain competitive, automotive manufacturers and retailers need industry insights that provide clear direction on today’s markets and the consumer demands of tomorrow.  

Our automotive market research experts deliver smart insights across all areas: From optimizing new concepts and product design (for example through car clinics), identifying precise actions to improve car brand perception or experiences, to tracking automotive aftersales.

DAT cooperation

Deutsche Automobil Treuhand GmbH (DAT) and the market research company GfK are cooperating in the field of vehicle data. The aim of the cooperation is to create new products for various stakeholders in the automotive industry, as well as for end consumers. For the first time, this cooperation will enable the two market research companies to offer vehicle data over the entire life cycle of a vehicle. Data will consist of vehicle information prior to market introduction, data regarding configuration of new vehicles, valuations for used cars, repair cost calculations, and data on vehicle recycling.

The cooperation between both companies shall initially cover four fields:
New cars, used cars, fleet business, after-sales retail.

Read more about the DAT and GfK cooperation

Success Stories
  • Enhancing brand performance in the US luxury auto market

    Enhancing brand performance in the US luxury auto market

    12.11.2015

    GfK researched one of Europe’s major auto manufacturers to determine the strength of its brand relationships with customers in the United States.

    A large European auto manufacturer that focuses on the luxury segment.

    Situation

    This company has improved the perception of its product and brand in the US market over the past few years and is establishing itself as a serious alternative for premium car buyers. Though our client’s brand equity and sales are steadily growing in the US, we conducted research around ways our client could further strengthen its performance.

    Approach

    We analyzed the auto manufacturer’s market impact using our Brand Vivo methodology – an approach that provides insight into consumer-brand relationships.

    Outcome

    The research showed the client is lagging the market leaders in consideration, familiarity and buying intention. We found that the automaker’s relationships with a high share of consumers in its target market were weak. Thus, to increase long-term brand success in the US, we recommended that the client:

    • evaluate current communications to ensure it had strong “personal fit” and “fun to drive”
      messaging
    • monitor social media buzz and take actions to encourage website visits
    • ensure relevant distribution of service centers.

    Click here to download the success story.

  • Evolving a luxury car brand in Europe

    Evolving a luxury car brand in Europe

    12.11.2015

    GfK rolled out a brand tracking program for an auto manufacturer that wanted to improve brand relationships with consumers.

    The client is a manufacturer of luxury vehicles.

    Situation

    This carmaker has been struggling to command brand presence in the media and in consumers’ minds in the largest European markets for premium motor cars.

    Approach

    We implemented a brand tracking program in Spain, Germany, France, Italy and the UK for this client. Our purchase funnel model gave it rich insight into the car buyer’s decision-making process. Applying our ConX methodology, we evaluated the vehicle manufacturer’s customer experience at various touchpoints. This painted a picture of how negative, positive and memorable these brand experiences were from the consumer’s perspective. The GfK Brand Vivo methodology underpinned our analysis. It uses human relationships as metaphors for the connection between brands and consumers.

    Outcome

    Our solution enabled our client to track brand performance in its most important markets over a year. We found that its investments in marketing yielded an improvement in short-term funnel performance. However, it was not yet succeeding in strengthening longer-term relationships with consumers. We recommended that the client evolve its marque in the following ways:

    • Increase branding in all marketing activities
    • Focus on shifting the technocratic tone of its communications to a more emotional one.

    Click here to download the success story.

  • Crafting compelling, localized propositions in the tire market

    Crafting compelling, localized propositions in the tire market

    12.11.2015

    GfK equipped a multinational tire manufacturer to take actions that help improve market share in Africa and the Middle East.

    Michelin is one of the largest tire manufacturers in the world.

    Situation

    Michelin wanted to improve sales in a key segment of tire consumers in South Africa and the Middle East. It needed to understand which communications positioning and marketing actions it could deploy to increase brand appeal, and boost conversion rates from awareness and consideration to purchase.

    Approach

    Our research plan had two stages:

    1. GfK Smart Discovery: We identified market opportunities through an inside-out view of the consumer segment, including the dealer perspective. Then, we profiled the customer base and conducted drive-along and shop-along interviews with recent purchasers and active intenders.
    2. GfK Smart Creative: We held an activation workshop to design compelling consumer and dealer value propositions.

    Outcome

    The study revealed the mindset, values and category needs of the audience, along with its perceptions of Michelin’s brand strengths and weaknesses compared to major competitors. It showed how unsuitable communications materials developed in Europe would be for the target markets.

    The research gave the client direction for the development of new collateral that would be relevant and appealing for customers in South Africa and the Middle East.

    Click here to download the success story.

  • Social media: Separating customer sentiment from the noise

    Social media: Separating customer sentiment from the noise

    14.09.2015

    Social media: Separating customer sentiment from the noise

    The GfK Social Media Intelligence solution helped our client to understand customer sentiment about a new car model, allowing it to sharpen its marketing approach.

    The GfK Social Media Intelligence solution helped our client to understand customer sentiment about a new car model, allowing it to sharpen its marketing approach.

    Our client is a major car manufacturer with a strong presence in India.

    Situation

    The Internet – including social media – plays a major role in influencing car purchase decisions among India’s 120 million-plus Internet users. This Indian automotive manufacturer wanted to monitor and measure social media sentiment about a new car model so that it could improve its marketing effectiveness.

    Approach

    We used our Social Media Intelligence (SMI) solution over five months to monitor and analyze social media conversations about the new car. Our approach combined automated tools with human insight to ensure accurate interpretation of social media content.
    “Human coding” – using skilled people to clean and categorize social data – enabled us to derive real insight from the data and posts we collected.

    Outcome

    The data we gathered and the analysis we conducted allowed us to map trends and sentiment about the new car into a clear understanding of the model’s online reputation. We cut through the noise of the social web to provide our client with actionable insights. From these insights we provided various recommendations, which included a focus on using the right channels to communicate to different audiences (users and influencers, for example) with appropriate messaging.

    Click here to download the success story.

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Solutions
  • User Experience (UX)

    User Experience (UX)

    Our user experience (UX) research and design experts help our clients create and improve customer experiences for existing or new products and services

    Today’s consumer is bombarded with promises for compelling experiences. They are sophisticated and demanding.  To be successful, a new product or service needs to be intuitive, usable, engaging and desirable. The user experience needs to be emotional in order to be memorable.

  • Market Opportunities and Innovation (MOI)

    Market Opportunities and Innovation (MOI)

    Brands are under constant pressure to maintain relevance in an increasingly crowded market. Identifying when, where and how to deliver compelling experiences that deliver new value for both consumers and brands is critical.

  • Trends & Forecasting

    Trends & Forecasting

    ​Today’s steady stream of new offerings and shortening product lifecycles place a unique pressure on businesses to stay ahead. Consumer purchasing behavior shifts more rapidly than ever.

  • Point of Sales Tracking

    Point of Sales Tracking

    Retailers and manufacturers are under pressure to develop products and services that maximize sales and profit and to keep customers coming back.

    Success relies on having the most up-to-date sales data, combined with robust analysis to understand which products and services are performing well in the market – and which are not. With this information, clients can set clear strategies for commercial growth and increase return on investment.

  • Digital Market Intelligence (DMI)

    Digital Market Intelligence (DMI)

    When consumers shop, search, communicate, gather information and engage with companies or brands online, they behave differently depending on which device or screen they are using. They expect a consistent experience regardless of the channel or device they are using.

  • Brand and Customer Experience (BaCE)

    Brand and Customer Experience (BaCE)

    Brands are under pressure to develop emotional connections and relationships with consumers and business decision makers.  Brands need to respond in-the-moment, to enrich the customer experience – and develop strategies that influence ”moments of truth” throughout individual brand journeys.  

  • Geomarketing

    Geomarketing

    Our geomarketing solutions and consultancy provide our clients with smart insights into location-specific factors that impact the success of business sites, shops, sales territories, target groups, as well as chain store and distribution networks.

Latest insights

Here you can find the latest insights for automotive industry. View all insights

    • 04/27/16
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Automotive
    • Consumer Goods
    • Connected Consumer
    • Belgium
    • English

    Connected Consumer Index

    GfK’s Connected Consumer Index provides a single measure covering how much, and on what devices, consumers in each of 78 countries and 8 world regions digitally connect with each other and with digital content. 
    • 11/12/15
    • Automotive
    • Brand and Customer Experience
    • Belgium
    • English

    Enhancing brand performance in the US luxury auto market

    We analyzed the auto manufacturer’s market impact using our Brand Vivo methodology – an approach that provides insight into consumer-brand relationships.
    • 11/12/15
    • Automotive
    • Brand and Customer Experience
    • Belgium
    • English

    Evolving a luxury car brand in Europe

    Applying our ConX methodology, we evaluated the vehicle manufacturer’s customer experience at various touchpoints. This painted a picture of how negative, positive and memorable these brand experiences were from the consumer’s perspective.
    • 11/12/15
    • Automotive
    • Market Opportunities and Innovation
    • Belgium
    • English

    Crafting compelling, localized propositions in the tire market

    Michelin wanted to improve sales in a key segment of tire consumers in South Africa and the Middle East. It needed to understand which communications positioning and marketing actions it could deploy to increase brand appeal, and boost conversion rates from awareness and consideration to purchase.
Contact us
Bart Meulemans
Cedric De Smedt
Belgium
+32 1674 2451
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