SUCCESS for Kia, Ford and Volkswagen in January’s new car market recovery also revealed their strengths in maintaining buyer interest over time.

That’s the view of Autovia, Britain’s leading publisher of automotive advice and insight, after last year successfully predicting the trio’s strong performances using its Driver Power car buyer insights tool.

Driver Power, which captures the opinions and intentions of up to 60,000 car buyers per year, saw Kia ranked top of the list of brands motorists were planning to buy, when asked by Driver Power during Quarter 3 of last year. That intention was translated into results when the SMMT revealed Kia as the winner for January new car sales.

In contrast, some brands were edged out of the top ten sellers by strong performance from the likes of MINI, which replaced parent brand BMW’s 4th place among intended purchases in the SMMT’s final January sales data.

Others improved their position, such as Ford, which moved up from the fifth most targeted brand to second place in actual sales. Two more brands – Hyundai and Vauxhall – also saw a boost in buyer interest, reaching the top ten registrations chart after ranking 11th and 19th among buyer intentions last September.

Examples of brands which lost ground, failing to translate consumer plans to buy into actual sales, included Jaguar, Land Rover, Audi and Lexus. They were all ranked in the top ten of brands consumers were intending to purchase but for which top ten January sales rankings failed to materialise.

Autovia notes that with lead times typically averaging anywhere between three and six months, or even beyond, capitalising on original positive intentions to buy is more challenging for manufacturers than ever.

Steve Fowler, Editor-in-Chief of Autovia, said: “In the current uniquely challenging new car market a lot can happen between someone deciding they want to buy a certain car and the dealer actually delivering that car to them, so January’s market performance is a tribute to the staying power in buyers’ minds of Kia, Ford and Volkswagen.

“The SMMT’s January sales data also confirm the strengths of our Driver Power research, which successfully predicted where many brands would be at the start of 2022 well in advance and we look forward to sharing more detailed insights with OEMs and dealers as the market continues its recovery over the course of the year.