Foresight Research: Racing Influencing Vehicle Purchase

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ROCHESTER — Racing influence on new car buyers’ purchase decision has edged up since last year, indicating a possible return of brand participation at races. With that being said, auto manufacturers should consider taking advantage of the marketing potential motorsports events deliver. Foresight Research also found:

– Among new car buyers, motorsports attendance and TV viewing has remained steady this year after declines in prior years. Both race attendance and TV influenced Pickup truck and sporty car buyers (as well as large car buyers).

– Among TV viewers of motorsports events who also bought a new vehicle, 9% were influenced to purchase by the exposure to motorsports. They watched an average of 9.3 races. Going to the race has even more impact. Among those attending the event, 19% were influenced to purchase their new vehicle by the motorsports event. They attended an average of 1.6 races.

– So where in the purchase process does motorsports operate? Survey says, increases in brand consideration and which dealers to shop benefit more than increasing overall awareness or making the final decision. So, getting your brand in the hunt can be helped along with motorsports.

– The marketing messages communicated by racing that most often influenced buyers spanned both vehicle imagery and emotional messages (fun to drive, sport image, style and appearance, and brand reputation). But, motorsports’ impact does not end there. Other messages that are important purchase influencers are also communicated and retained by these buyers; they pointed to some practical messages (price and value, fuel economy, new technology) as well.

– NASCAR followed by Formula One and IRL are the sanctioning bodies that are most often noted as having influenced the vehicle purchase.

– In 2012, 44% of racing influenced buyers said there was a ride and drive event taking place at the race they attended (up sharply from 27% in 2011 and 23% in 2010). Participation in the available ride and drives also increased from previous years, which suggests ride and drives at motorsports events are highly influential to a potential new car buyer.

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