A new study into the car buying habits of wealthy Australians that almost 15 per cent intended to buy a luxury marque in the next four years while only 9.6 per cent of the rest of planned to buy any sort of vehicle.
The study was conducted by research firm Roy Morgan and identified a wealthy consumer it called the new economic order of premium consumers – or NEOs.
Australia’s five million NEOs spend and invest more, and more frequently, than anyone else. They change and adapt so quickly; they are Australia’s future shapers. It’s no surprise, therefore, that they intend to buy new cars in the near term. And, notably, the top 50 per cent of NEOs – known as Super NEOs – are almost 80 per cent more likely than the average Australian to buy a new car in the next four years.
According to Roy Morgan, the German sports car brand Porsche is top of NEOs’ wish list. The entry point for a Porsche in Australia is low $100,000s going up to $500,000-plus for the top of the range models.
1. Porsche (NEOs 80 per cent more likely than the population)
2. Audi (76 per cent)
3. BMW (70 per cent)
4. Volvo (70 per cent)
5. Volkswagen (46 per cent)
According to Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine, NEOs buy cars not as status symbols to impress others, but rather as a whispered secret to themselves.
“Porsche is the perfect example. NEOs are 80 per cent more likely than the average Australian to buy a Porsche in the next 4 years, and that puts Porsche at the top of the premium list,” Levine said.
“NEOs are seduced more by the Porsche pedigree, design beauty, and authenticity than by the brand as a status symbol or statement of importance.”
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According to Levine, the new economic order of premium consumers constantly evolves. “Australia’s 5 million NEOs are inconspicuous consumers who spend less on traditional products and more on creating emotional experiences; investing in brands and experiences that are authentic. NEOs change and adapt so quickly; they are Australia’s future shapers.
“NEOs represent a rare opportunity for vehicle brands to sell new cars in a market already in decline and decimated by the COVID financial crisis. And yet marketers in the passenger vehicle sector still tend to focus on Australia’s 10 million low-spending traditional consumers.”
She believes it will be a two-speed recovery and that the fast lane is already being driven by Australia’s NEO consumers: “The focus has been on the decline in new car sales in Australia over the past year, and it’s true they have declined on a monthly year-over-year basis for two years.
“However, this rear vision view ignores the positive news coming from the premium consumers who have a much higher new vehicle buying intention than all other Australians combined.
“In the wake of the COVID-19 shutdowns during March-April-May, new vehicle sales were always going to decline massively as Australians went into lockdown.
“Identifying the premium consumers who will recover first and fastest has therefore never been more important. It is the key to finding the fast lane to recovery in the post-recessionary period,” Levine said.