An ACNielsen survey has found that South Africa's black consumer market is growing rapidly and although most citizens do not yet own a motor vehicle, they aspire to do so.

An ACNielsen survey has found that South Africa's black consumer market is growing rapidly and although most citizens do not yet own a motor vehicle, they aspire to do so.



According to the research house's findings, South Africans do not have an automatic choice when choosing a brand of car to buy. But BMW stood out as the brand South Africans were most likely to think of first. When respondents were asked which vehicle they would purchase if they were in the market, Toyota was pipped to the post by the blue and white roundel.


ACNielsen interviewed 2 474 adults of all races in metropolitan areas, cities, towns and villages, and asked them which brand or make of motor vehicle they had heard of on the local market.


BMW topped the list with 28 per cent of respondents, followed by Toyota at 20 per cent and Volkswagen at just under 12 per cent. Ford, Mazda, Opel and Mercedes-Benz were fairly low on the list of brands mentioned, and six per cent of respondents could not think of any brand at all.


While there was no overall leading brand, BMW enjoys a relatively high ranking. When measured by race groups, 15 per cent of white participants opted for BMW against 24 per cent of black participants. Toyota was a clear winner among lower-income groups.


CARtoday.com reported last week that Synovate found the number of first-time black car buyers was on the increase - the proportion of blacks buying new cars rose from 7,4 per cent three years ago to 11,3 per cent last year.


But merely increasing marketing spend on attracting black consumers will not be enough to translate into new purchasers. KPMG automotive division director Fred von Eckardstein told that although the purchasing power of black consumers had grown, they were still sensitive to high car prices.