LOS ANGELES -- For all the effort automakers lavish on new sheet metal and technology, 79 percent of U.S. car shoppers would rather get a good deal on an older model than wait a few months for a redesign, according to a new survey.
The survey by AutoTrader.com, the largest third-party Internet vehicle shopping site, also showed that 57 percent of car buyers don't think it is important to have the latest redesign of a vehicle.
"This is a bit counterintuitive given how much effort, expense and emphasis the industry puts on redesigns," said Rick Wainschel, AutoTrader vice president of automotive insights.
Although more than half of all car shoppers research vehicles online, most of them do it so they can negotiate a better price on an older model, the survey results indicated.
Wainschel said the economic climate is probably a factor. In another recent AutoTrader survey, 27 percent of respondents said "affordability" was the No. 1 reason for buying, compared with 10 percent for design or styling and just 3 percent for new technology.
"The economy is thawing, but the signs are that it is thawing slowly," Wainschel said. "People are bringing a residual caution that is causing price to be a continuing factor of great importance."