It’s all about the experience

  06 February 2012

Forgive the indulgence, but I’ve been keeping a close eye on the coupe-twins that are the Toyota GT-86 and the Subaru BRZ.

I wish I had the money to buy either of them. I’ve owned a few cars from each brand (indeed I still own one of each at the moment). If I did have the money I would be seriously thinking of buying one. It’s not helped by the fact I’ve also been working on an ‘affordable coupes’ sector analysis for the February issue of Auto Retail Bulletin.

And this got me thinking. Given both are very similar in terms of price and power and even looks, why would a customer pick one or the other?

The thought I keep coming back to is that it will have to come down to the customer experience at the retailer.

Subaru must have thought the same, because in the past week it’s launched a new aftercare package with some new and highly attractive ideas such as alloy wheel repairs, minor dent and scratch repairs, winter tyre storage as well as more obvious free valets, service collection and delivery plus lost key replacement. And for this reason I’d go for the BRZ.

The thing is it’s not just the GT-86 and the BRZ that are in close competition. There are already plenty of other examples such as the Citroen-Peugeot-Toyota city car triplets and the large MPVs from Seat and VW to name a few.

Aftersales packages such as Subaru’s will pull in more buyers, but not only that, if they’re constructed in the right way, they’ll also keep those customers returning while they own the car. And in the long run, that means not just more conquest sales, but also more repeat sales and more aftersales business.

Tristan Young

Got a view on anything I’ve said? Drop me a line at Tristan@auto-retail.com

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