Key findings released in Isuzu market survey

Truck operators are becoming increasingly reliant on a single brand to populate their fleet according to the results of a new market survey.

In the latest market tracking survey of fleet managers and business decision makers by Isuzu Australia Limited six in every ten owners (62 per cent of respondents) confirmed they are opting to remain loyal to one brand across their operational fleet. 

The independent market research undertaken by strategy consultancy, Fiftyfive5, surveyed regional and metropolitan truck owners who were considering purchasing a truck for their business over the next 12 months.

It covered multiple vocations including construction and logistics, through to the retail trade and hospitality.

The widespread impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the road transport sector was notable among the key findings.

No less than 93 per cent of Australian truck-based operations have suffered an impact on their business as a result of the pandemic and ensuing public health measures.

Of those, 39 per cent described the disruption as ‘major,’ and one requiring systemic changes to business models and overall strategies.  

There was, however, a silver lining according to Isuzu made manifest by stakeholder confidence, with 41 per cent of road transport respondents confident their businesses will survive and thrive post pandemic.

The findings come at a critical time for the industry as it battles through unprecedented disturbance according to IAL Head of Marketing and Customer Experience John Walker.

“Collating these findings has been an interesting and insightful exercise, given the current climate,” he said. 

“One of the recurring themes we’ve seen come out of this report, is the desire for many to stick to proven, tested products they know and trust, especially during a time of upheaval,” said Walker.

“The report shows that brand trust, product quality and range are the key drivers of brand preference. This is closely followed by aftersales support, reliability and total cost of ownership propositions.”

Isuzu Trucks came out on top in terms of critical preference indicators, building on positive past results in this space but noted the reporting period had been mired in broader industry disruptions.

The brand also bettered its competitors in the areas of brand trust, perceptions of product value, and was viewed most favourably by respondents in regard to product range and suitability.

“There’s certainly a sense that disruption and uncertainty prompt a heightened sense of conservatism in consumers, especially in the case of capital equipment,” said Walker.

“This data helps to substantiate some of those foundation attributes that every buyer is looking for in a product. It’s perhaps amplified at this time, but ensuring our customers have a safe and predictable interaction with the product. 

“It’s been useful to note some of the more subtle changes in industry sentiment since the onset of COVID-19. We can see that some businesses have undergone significant upheaval but maintain a positive outlook on the prospect of recovery.”

The findings, when it comes to procurement, highlight that foundational product attributes are still the mostly highly regarded, in spite of significant economic and operational disruption.

“Critically too, they point to a consumer base that continues to value quality, reliability and top-shelf service — all traits we continually strive to perfect as the country’s top performing and highest selling truck brand,” concluded Walker.

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