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1977 survey: BMW and Alfa Romeo largest preferred brands

Autotest organized a survey in 1977, in which 2.727 participants cooperated. The questions were subdivided into several categories. The degree of brand loyalty and the plus and minus points of the car were discussed. Of course, the survey also included questions about matters that the next car had to comply with. The participants were also allowed to name their favorite brand and type as preferred brands. BMW and Alfa Romeo played an important role. They were the preferred brands.


Very popular in the second half of the seventies: the first 3 Series from BMW. Image: BMW
Very popular in the second half of the seventies: the first 3 Series from BMW. Image: BMW

For most brands, brand loyalty fluctuated between values ​​of 40% and 60%. That could be deduced from the combination question in which was asked what the previous car of the participant was, and where it was now driving. Striking: BMW and Mercedes-Benz achieved a percentage of around 60%, while a mutual crossing was hardly an issue. In that respect, not much has changed in nearly 40 years. Volvo, Renault and Peugeot drivers also remained loyal to their brand in more than 50% of cases. It was striking that Audi scored low. Only 28% of the participants decided to get into an Audi again. These relationships are different today.


Fixed popularity of top 3 compared to 1976

The preferred cars of 1977 gave a beautiful and sometimes surprising picture of the automotive wish list of almost forty years ago. Luxury sportiness predominated. The BMW 3-Series of the Baureihe E21, who was more than two years young at that time, was with verve the leader. The Alfa Romeo Alfetta and the Peugeot 504 GL took number two and three. Remarkable, given that the Alfetta was already launched in 1972 and the rock-solid basis of the 504 in 1978 (year of publication of the survey) celebrated its ten-year anniversary. The numbers one, two and three were the same cars as the year before.

The Alfasud TI, one of the three Alfa Romeos in the top 10 of preferred models in 1977. Image: Alfa Romeo
The Alfasud TI, one of three Alfa Romeos in the top 10 of preferred models in 1977. Image: Alfa Romeo

Another two Alfa Romeos in top 10

Incidentally, there were two more Alfa Romeos in the top ten. The Alfasud ti (nine) and the Giulia (ten) completed the occupation of the first ten places. Certainly Giulia, more than fifteen years old, thereby demonstrated the iconic status of the car. It is worth noting: the relatively new Honda Accord and the Volkswagen Golf GTI were also very successful. Golf brother Scirocco, incidentally, tumbled out of the Top-10, a fact that probably had to do with the ever-expanding Golf series. The fact that Opel worked with the Manta-B (place five) on the road for a few years will also have played a role. The Manta made its entry in the top 10 favorites list of the 2.700 participants.

Preferred brands top five: mainly German

Finally, the preferred top five brands. BMW and Alfa Romeo were one and two with 13,8% and 13,7% respectively. In the case of BMW, that was surprising, considering that in the top 25 only the 3-Series of the Bavarian brand was represented. The 5 series did not appear in the piece, just like all Mercedes-Benz models. The fact is that today, Mercedes-Benz models are very popular among classic owners and buyers. Incidentally, brands such as Leyland Jaguar en Leyland Rover did not even appear in the list of preferred brands. Opel, Volkswagen and Ford did play a major role. They completed the top 5 of the preferred brands. That can be explained by the fact that in those years in the Netherlands they were among the best (Opel) selling or better selling brands (Volkswagen and Ford). But they could not beat pure desire in the preferred list.


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