Research carried out by the firm suggests the volume of social media conversations expressing a desire or intention to purchase a new car increased by 97 per cent year-on-year from February to March 2012 when compared to the same period in 2011. Meanwhile, there was also a rise of 71 per cent year-on-year from August to September 2012 when compared to the same period in 2011.
The research shows that more social media activity occurs in the run-up and switchover to new number plates.
The firm says conversations indicating the intention to buy a car surged in the week after the 12-reg was launched on March 1, 2012 (more than 1,200 UK posts). There was a more sustained increase in discussions around the 62-plate launch.
Interestingly Precise believes superstition surrounding the 13-reg is ‘unfounded’. Their research suggests there’s little evidence that social media users will be deterred from buying a new car this March because of the 13-plate.
James Withey, head of brand insight, Precise said: ‘As 2012 car sales suggest, the automotive industry is on the road to recovery, but still has a way to go before the market reaches the pre-recession level of 2.4m units achieved in 2007.
‘The increase in social media discussions expressing the intention to buy a new car, whether they’re buoyed by new number plates or not, is a good indicator that further growth may be on the cards for 2013.’