Toyota South Africa Motors scooped the Brand of the Year trophy at the recent Cars.co.za Consumer Awards. The award is bestowed based purely on industry data and is therefore immensely meaningful, because it represents the voice of the South African consumer.
The Cars.co.za Brand of the Year award winner was determined solely by the manufacturers’ ratings in the Cars.co.za Owner Satisfaction Survey, allied with market share change and resale value statistics per vehicle brand (supplied by Lightstone Auto) during the period January to December 2015.
“We believe that Cars.co.za (in conjunction with Lightstone Consumer) has developed the fairest and most credible formula for determining the winner in this category,” says Cars.co.za Consumer Experience Manager, Hannes Oosthuizen. “It is entirely data-driven, and entirely determined by what consumers and the market believe to be happening in South Africa. Toyota, of course, is a much-loved brand in this country, and our data confirms that its customers believe it is tops where it really matters. It is truly the people’s champion.”
How was the data collected?
During the course of 2015, Cars.co.za teamed up with recognised automotive data experts, Lightstone Consumer, to develop a comprehensive Ownership Satisfaction Survey. Since its launch, more than 4 000 South African car owners have completed this in-depth questionnaire that covers the sales experience; service experience; running costs; comfort and safety; reliability and quality; driving satisfaction and owmership experience. A registration verification process was used to limit the chances of bogus or duplicate entries.
To determine the Brand of the Year winner, three data sets from this survey were extracted per brand, namely dealer sales experience; after sales service experience; and overall experience. Lightstone Auto then provided additional information on each brand covering: the percentage of original purchase price retention after three years; and relative growth (or decline) in market share over 12 months. Due to their heightened importance to consumers, two of the five metrics (resale value and after-sales service) were up-weighted to have a greater impact on the overall scores.
Only brands with a sufficient sample size of completed surveys (on cars younger than five years and only serviced through franchised service networks) were included.
The importance of accurate resale values
“Correctly assessing an asset’s value is of utmost importance, particularly when it comes to awards and surveys such as this,” says Paul de Vantier of Lightstone. “In a healthy and unbiased economy ‘value’ can be defined as ‘what the asset is worth to me’ and this is typically represented by what a person is willing to pay. Lightstone’s retail and trade value models employ a statistically robust and accurate depreciation model, assessing the depreciation observed on an asset as it ages. Our statistical models have shown that different vehicles depreciate at different rates, and that these rates are not constant as a vehicle ages. This agrees with the market consensus that newer vehicles depreciate at a far greater rate and that as the vehicle ages the additional depreciation observed diminishes. Any statistical model is only as accurate as the data used. Lightstone’s monthly residual value model uses in excess of 300 000 bank financed transactions, other market sales submissions and rigorous data cleaning methods are applied to ensure the residual value models represent only market related transactions. The bank financed transactions are received at most three days after concluding (ensuring a lower lag time to market changes), and only actual prices achieved, i.e. no advertised pricing, are used,” adds De Vantier.
The final score
With an overall score of 73,8%, Toyota emerged at the top of the rankings in this year’s results, with Mercedes-Benz on 73,2% in second and Audi in third with 72,9%. “Less than a percentage point separates the top three,” highlights Oosthuizen. “This points to an extremely competitive, and healthy rivalry at the top.”