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Survey shows that incentives work

Discounts important to 83% of respondents

Nuremberg, Germany. Incentives influence customers' purchasing decisions and will cause a car buyer to switch brands.

Those findings come from a survey done by the Puls market research company of Nuremberg, Germany.

According to the survey, 83 percent of the respondents said financial discounts influence their decisions to buy new cars; 67 percent said getting free additional equipment is most important; and 64 percent rated an extended warranty as being the top factor.

Puls collected the incentive data exclusively for Automobilwoche last month by questioning about 8,000 people who were just about to buy a car.

Other interesting findings from the survey include:

1) 33 percent of the respondents wanted to buy their cars sooner than planned because of incentives;

2) 14 percent wanted to change brands due to incentives;

3) 14 percent stated that the incentives caused them to want to buy a car.

While all the people questioned said that direct price reductions had a big influence on them, free additional equipment and special financing offers also made an impact on young customers.

Free car insurance is an important incentive for women, the data shows.

Audi customers look for free additional equipment more often than BMW or Mercedes buyers. In general, high-end car customers are less likely to be influenced by incentives than buyers of mass-market cars.

The people questioned believe Opel offers the highest number of discounts and think Volkswagen will offer a lot of free additional equipment, this opinion is largely based on the air conditioning giveaway VW used most of this year to help drive sales of the fifth-generation Golf, the data shows.

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