Poll of 1,000 UK Millennials reveals the extent of damage to car makers’ reputations and the potential long-term impact of VW #dieselgate
London: 30th September 2015 – A new poll released today by independent youth-specialist research firm Red Brick Research reveals that 82% of millennials believe other car manufacturers are ‘likely’ or ‘highly likely’ to have engaged in test-cheating activity.
While financial losses for VW through compensation claims, recall costs and lost sales could be huge, the widespread cynicism of major corporates could actually soften the loss of market share in the medium term, but the long-term impact may be huge.
Tim Daplyn, Founder and MD of Red Brick Research commented, “In the ultra short-term we’re bound to see a hit in September sales of new ‘65’ plates given the immediate damage to the badge prestige of VW and Audi brands in particular. But the long term damage could be huge, especially as manufacturers are already struggling to convince millennials to buy new cars, even with the availability of cheap finance and new types of leasing contract.”
The representative survey of 1,000 millennials across the UK offered some hope, however, with 77% believing that VW will eventually recover its brand position.
The recent testing scandal has also impacted perceptions of German exports in general with one in four millennials (25%) saying the scandal has negatively impacted their perception of German manufacturing and technology companies in general.
Daplyn commented, “This scandal will be particularly damaging to the long-term prospects of an industry struggling to enthuse millennials about car ownership. Cars don’t represent a sense of freedom in the same way as they did for previous generations and in many ways they are a very ‘millennial-phobic’ environment – cramped, anti-social, impersonal, mass-manufactured and technologically out-of-date. They don’t fit well with the urge to multi-task, they’re expensive to own, expensive to run, environmentally unfriendly and personal ownership of a car is increasingly seen as unnecessary.”
Daplyn continued, “Motor manufacturers need to wake up to the fact that this problem isn’t going to resolve itself, and tinkering around the edges with keyless entry and smartphone-docking technology seems to be missing the fundamental problem; cars just aren’t cool anymore.”
Notes to Editors
Red Brick Research is an independent market research agency specialising in research with millennials and youth markets.
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