New car customisations: Financial headache or golden opportunity?


Written by: David Collings

The bowlers among you will know that you’re probably never going to bowl a perfect game with odds of 11,500 to one. 

It’s also doubtful you’ll find a four leaf clover on your first search, and your chances of getting a hole in one in golf are pretty remote.

What’s not in doubt, however, is the rise in new vehicle customisation options now being offered by car manufacturers. Last year CAP made 2.7 million data changes to its new vehicle data records with almost half a million options on record. By contrast, 2012, which was a record year in itself, saw 1.77 million changes. So that’s a lot of data expansion in store if the motor industry wants to keep up. 

4 billion combinations

The Vauxhall Adam is a perfect example of customisation overdrive, with 89 model variants and an amazing four billion potential option combinations. And this isn’t likely to stop anytime soon. At CAP, we’re adding more than 2,000 new derivatives to our data every month. 

So why the explosion in recent years? I turned to resident CAP Consulting specialist, Matt Freeman for the answer: “The rationale behind the move to customisation is simple. Manufacturers have noticed that brands like MINI and models like the Fiat 500 have carved out an important place in the market. With customisation, what was once a privilege of the super-rich, with their custom-built limousines and sports cars, is now accessible to everyone, and brands like MINI are reaping the rewards.”

A financial headache

As customisation options continue to increase, it’s essential to stay on top of the changes. Struggling to identify what’s standard and what’s optional can make it more difficult to tempt in a prospect and impacts the value you place on your vehicles. Get it wrong and you could feel the financial headache.

Today, we find that going above and beyond ‘the norm’ is fast becoming the norm, and it’s not just the availability of (or lack of) necessary data that has an effect. What if the data is strewn with errors? All of a sudden that upload of data becomes onerous, time consuming and more costly. 

And this brings me back to that perfect game at the bowling alley. The chances of playing one are better than finding an error in our new vehicle data. Reassuring for our customers, and one less thing to worry about when relying on those 2.7 million data changes that will affect your business.

Ask your specialist about their coverage and error rates.