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Top-of-Mind Consumer Desires for New Car Shopping

Dependability - Strong Automotive

Below is a portion of an article from  Auto Remarketing posted on September 9, 2013.  It makes several observations on what people are shopping for in an automobile, particularly quality, dependability, and the decline of other items like technology.

While searching the lots for a new ride, what are the most important factors behind a purchase, and which models will draw the most eyes. Late last week experts worked to try and answer both these questions. First up, revealed survey results that rank consumer preferences for new vehicles.

Overall, both car and light-truck shoppers ranked quality/dependability as the No. 1 factor considered when making a new-vehicle purchasing decision.

Last year, fuel economy topped the list, as gas prices were soaring above $4 in many parts of the county; this year fuel concerns are No. 2 on the list for car shoppers.

For light-truck shoppers, fuel economy was No. 3, behind brand. 

“While higher gasoline prices and stiffer federal regulations have raised the profile of fuel economy over the past few years, the survey results clearly indicate that car and light-truck shoppers are looking for a trouble-free ownership experience above all else,” said Jonathan Banks, executive automotive analyst for the NADA Used Car Guide.

Overall, quality/dependability, brand, fuel economy and vehicle design were the top preferences for both car and light-truck shoppers surveyed, officials shared.

Specifically, for those in the market for a new car, similar to the results from the fall survey last year; car shoppers show a preference for vehicle design, safety and fuel economy, with an average of 60 percent of respondents citing these factors as either important or very important.

Other interesting points included:

—On average, 60 percent of respondents shopping for a car rated versatility/utility and power/performance as either important or very important.

—An average of 58 percent of car shoppers rated cost of ownership factors, such as warranty coverage, depreciation and maintenance fees, as either important or very important.

On the other hand, new-car shoppers were not as interested in navigation systems, smartphone connectivity and driver-assist technologies, as these were ranked the lowest by survey participants.

“With the advent of smartphones, particularly with its navigation capabilities, the desirability of built-in navigation systems seems to be waning among those surveyed,” Banks added.

For light-truck shoppers, the results were similar, though the rankings came in slightly different.

Safety, versatility/utility, vehicle design and fuel economy rounded out the top-five preferences of survey respondents shopping for a light truck.

And an average of 58 percent of light-truck shoppers rated ownership cost factors, excluding insurance fees, as important or very important.

Interestingly, truck shoppers were split on the issues of smartphone connectivity, navigation system and driver-assist technologies; these were ranked as unimportant or very important. 


by John Paul Strong

John Paul Strong

John Paul Strong combines his two decades of automotive marketing experience with a team of more than 150 professionals as owner and CEO of Strong Automotive.

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