Good times should continue to roll for the U.S. auto market, especially in the luxury segment, into the foreseeable future, according to "2012
Special Report: Luxury Automotive Outlook," a new study released by Forbes Insights that relies on forward-looking consumer data provided by
BIGinsight, a consumer insight resource based in Worthington, Ohio.
Using a full year's worth of data from BIGinsight, derived from roughly 150,000 consumer interviews conducted in 2011, Forbes Insights has devised a Luxury Car Buzz Index to rank the leading luxury automotive brands based on a composite score that measures customer satisfaction and loyalty, car owners' propensity to recommend their brand to others, and the effectiveness of marketing efforts in both traditional and digital media, as well as the impact of digital word-of-mouth through social media and blogs. The Buzz Index distills all these factors into a snapshot of luxury brand performance.
The 10 brands ranked in the Luxury Car Buzz Index include Acura, Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Infiniti, Jaguar, Lexus, Lincoln, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo. Some highlights:
¢ BMW topped the overall score, which seems fitting in light of 2011 sales that made it the best-selling luxury brand in the U.S.
¢ Lexus came in second despite a difficult year due largely to supply problems that resulted from natural disasters in Japan. This reflects strong loyalty among its customers, who recommend the brand to others with particular enthusiasm. Lexus won in the Brand Satisfaction category (in a photo-finish with second-place Volvo), and it won easily in the Personal Promotion category.
¢ Audi won the Digital Media category (with BMW a close second), and is generating the most social media buzz.
¢ BMW boasts the most effective marketing in the Traditional Media category.
Data from BIGinsight paints a detailed picture of how consumers regard these brands right now, as well as what those consumers intend to doand buyover the next six months. To shed light on the strategic direction of these brands and the future of the luxury car market, Forbes Insights interviewed chief marketers and general managers.
Executives interviewed for the study include Steve Cannon, president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA; Ludwig Willisch, president and CEO of BMW North America; Mark Templin, group vice president and general manager of Lexus USA; Scott Keogh, chief marketing officer, Audi of America; Don Butler, vice president of marketing for Cadillac; C.J. O'Donnell, group marketing manager, Lincoln; Vicki Poponi, assistant vice president of product planning for Honda and Acura USA; and Steve Shannon, vice president of marketing for Hyundai Motor America.
"Forbes Insights and BIGinsight have partnered to create a unique and forward-looking report on the luxury auto business that presents actionable information for anyone involved in the luxury automotive business," said Bruce Rogers, Forbes' Chief Insights Officer.
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