European customers, therefore, appear to be patient wanting a total holistic experience that comes along with the brand reputation of makers such as BMW.
There is a great deal of marketing being undertaken, especially in promotion, by many different automakers that provide very similar vehicles with similar characteristics. American automakers provide mid-sized cars at affordable prices, but must rely on lifestyle marketing (psychographics) in order to get consumers to see differentiation between cars with very similar benefits and features. In this case, the automakers themselves are attempting to sell an experience, however the buyer is likely looking for a reliable and affordable vehicle, making them more focused on the product and pricing instead. Again, it seems to be a matter of the country of origin where the consumer is located that determines exactly what the customer is looking for when seeking out new automobiles.
Those that are affected by automaker promotions illustrating actors with similar lifestyle qualities, such as Subaru with their recent family-centric marketing, would probably consider buying a Subaru to be a total brand experience. A consumer with moderate financial resources that is looking for only an affordable vehicle that will be dependable would be seeking out just a product purchase that is aligned with their current resource availability. It really seems to depend on the type of consumer, their cultural capital such as values and beliefs, which determines whether it is a product or an experience they are seeking. Under the assumption that most cars share similar characteristics, it is highly dependent on the consumer profile that will determine what, specifically, the buyer is looking for when considering different auto brands.
There are many factors that influence the decision to purchase an automobile. Marketing theory informs that many customers look toward reference groups when making certain product-buying decisions.