New-vehicle shoppers look at more models before buying, study says
New-vehicle shoppers are considering more models before buying, and fuel economy remains the most influential factor in a purchase decision, according to a J.D. Power and Associates study.
New-vehicle shoppers consider an average of 3.3 vehicles, J.D. Power’s 2013 Avoider Study says, up from 3.1 in last year’s study and 2.9 in 2010.
The study, released this month, examines why consumers do not consider -- or avoid -- certain models when shopping for new vehicles.
Only about 5 percent of Americans buy new vehicles every year, said Jon Osborn, J.D. Power research director, and automakers want to know what makes consumers avoid their products.
Fuel economy is still the main concern nationwide, Osborn said, with 15 percent of new-vehicle owners in this year’s study citing it as the main reason in their purchase decision, similar to last year.
Reliability has become less important to consumers over the past couple of years, with 17 percent of new-vehicle shoppers avoiding models because of reliability, compared with 19 percent in last year’s study and 21 percent in 2009. Because vehicle quality is improving, reliability is a less important factor, Osborn said.
Consumers also seem more concerned with vehicle exteriors than interiors. About a third of new-vehicle shoppers avoid models because of their exterior look or design, while only 19 percent avoid models because of their interior look or design.
Image also plays a part in consumer decisions, with 17 percent of shoppers avoiding certain models because of the images they portray.
The study also found that the two main reasons shoppers avoid hybrid or electric cars is because of cost (36 percent) and exterior styling (25 percent).
The 2013 Avoider study was based on responses from roughly 31,000 owners who registered a new vehicle in May 2012. Respondents were surveyed between August and October.