September 12, 2023

New Yahoo study in Australia reveals over 66% of auto buyers ditch brand loyalty, paving the path for marketers' innovation

Attention Australian automotive marketers! A golden opportunity awaits as a recent study from Yahoo reveals that a whopping two-thirds of prospective car buyers are hitting the market with uncertainty and low brand loyalty. It's time to rev up your strategies and steer these undecided shoppers in your direction.

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50% of buyers opt for outright vehicle purchase and 60% of Boomers seal the deal within a month

Automotive marketers have a huge opportunity to influence new buyers with two thirds of people entering the market for a new car undecided and with low brand loyalty, according to a new study from Yahoo.

The ‘Trends and Opportunities in Auto Industry Australia 2023’ report identifies evolving trends that advertisers can leverage to enhance their strategies. The study found that 1 in 2 buyers know what style of vehicle they want when they begin their search and 66% are actually “brand agnostic,” meaning they have no brand affinity going into their car buying journey.  

Additionally 70% of consumers have undertaken actions while shopping that could have been influenced by advertisements, and 50% of buyers purchase outright.

Interestingly, older generations also move faster. Once they decide to buy, 60% of Boomers purchase a vehicle inside a month, compared to a third of the wider population. Meanwhile 15% researched and purchased entirely online, adding a new twist of complexity to a previously in-person industry.

The study also finds that significant life events are a key driver for purchase decisions among buyers. For example, 22% of people who have purchased/leased a new car had adopted a pet in the previous six months, whilst 19% of intenders had started a new job and 17% had had a recent promotion. 

Dan Richardson, Director of Data & Insights AUSEA at Yahoo, says: “The auto industry has come roaring back post-COVID, as supply chain issues even out and dealers are able to meet pent-up consumer demand. But, as Australia has one of the most competitive and crowded auto markets on earth, brands can’t rest on their laurels as the majority of people coming into the market are undecided and have little brand loyalty.”

He adds, “Our study shows people are also willing to switch brands if they think there is a better deal, newer technology or better fuel economy to be found. This creates an opportunity for car brands to capitalise on omnichannel advertisements. This will enable brands to guide and persuade buyers to make decisions that align with their offerings.”

According to the Yahoo report, the Australian automotive industry is witnessing a remarkable growth trajectory with revenue projected at $165.8 billion in 2023, indicating a substantial increase of 6.3% from previous years. The study identified several key purchase motivations among consumers, including the brand loyalty, desire for new experiences, and the quest for better value. 

The Yahoo Australia Automotive Path to Purchase Study conducted in June 2023, offers a comprehensive and insightful look into the changing landscape of the automotive industry. As the market continues to evolve, understanding consumer behavior shifts will be critical for brands aiming to capture the attention of their target audience effectively. 


The Yahoo Auto Sales study was conducted to understand automotive consumers’ (Intenders and Purchasers ) decision-making process and its key elements such as preferences, barriers, and purchase experience. The 15 minute survey was done across 600 consumers aged 18+ over the time-period of April- May 2023.

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