The differences in design of the new car triplets Peugeot 108, Citroen C1 and Toyota Aygo were studied in a scientific manner for the first time. The design of the Toyota Aygo outperforms the others in grabbing the attention of the public, according to research by Marketing in Automotive and Agency Validators.
It is no secret that many car brands work together closely when it comes to developing cars, producing them or sourcing parts. One of the most successful cooperations is the one of PSA and Toyota. PSA is the name of the group to which Peugeot and Citroën belong. The triplets Citroën C1, Peugeot 107 and Toyota Aygo are the result of this collaboration. The nearly identical cars came in 2005 on the market. All three cars are produced in a factory in the Czech Republic. Technically, they are completely identical and only in small design details they differ from each other. They all have the same engine, but there are several trim levels. Developing and building a car together does not have to stand in the way of a sales success. The proof is in the sales figures: Since the introduction each model sold over 700,000 units in Europe. In total over 2.2 million units. In the dense populated country of the Netherlands the triplets are also extremely popular. The governmental tax regulations in the Netherlands favor the purchase of fuel-efficient cars. And that is what the Aygo, C1 and 107 are. In total nearly 250,000 were sold. The Peugeot 107 is the most popular in the Netherlands, followed closely by the Aygo and the C1 closes the queue.
Although the cars received a small facelift twice their life, almost ten years of production calls for a new generation. PSA and Toyota stood up and presented the successors at the Geneva Motor Show this spring. Entirely in the tradition of Peugeot, the 107 is now called 108. The new generation of these micro cars still share the same technology, but the differences in design, especially on the outside is now bigger than ever before.
At a glance you can see that the 108 looks a lot more mature and serious than its predecessor. The new C1 immediately shows that it shares his origins with the 108, but the car looks playful and creative. Exactly what Citroën wants their image to be. The Toyota definitely has a distinguishing design. It has an eye-catching cross on the nose. Also the back and the inlay on the rear door pillar distinguishes the Japanese one by a more rectangular design.
Price is a non-negligible factor when it comes to purchasing a car. For the triplets the price differences between the cars are again very small. So, in general, the choice will mainly come down to brand or design preference.
There is no disputing about taste is an old adage, but it is an established fact that the design of a car can greatly affect the perceived value of the brand. Good design evokes emotions, but how do you measure that? And if you know your design is different from others in a positive way, how can you utilize that in communication, in advertising, on the internet or even at the dealership?
Eye tracking shows the difference
Now the new Aygo, C1 and 108 differ stronger in design than ever before, we – Marketing in Automotive and agency Validators – decided to take the test and investigate which of these three new micro cars is the most striking in design. To be sure there was no bias from other factors, all three cars were presented with two different background images. One with a completely white background and one with the image of a city as background.
Validators showed the images of the models to over 150 random consumers. With eye tracking they investigated which parts of the car were most seen and how well the entire car stands in its surroundings. The six (two for each car) images were shown in three different controlled, calibrated and realistic outdoor environments. Eventually 18 different images were displayed to six groups spread over 25 respondents.
Toyota Aygo is the winner
The results show that the design of the Toyota is by far the best to attract attention.They also show that the focus is primarily generated by the characteristic radiator grille. 35% of the people focused on the grille of the Aygo. For the C1 and 108 this number is respectively 6 and 8 percent. The results are significant and should influence some strategic choices in the launch campaign. Bart Massa of Validators: “We know, for example, exactly what kind of outdoor advertising reflects the intended image well and which elements in the ad image can enhance that the brand is remembered”. The right research can increase the effectiveness of a campaign by as much as 25%. In this article there are some additional examples.
Are the C1 and 108 thus doomed to lag behind the Aygo in the sales statistics until the end of times? We don’t think so, because much will depend on how advertising and other sales support and will really be executed. So, what do you think Peugeot and Citroën should do the close the gap?