March '13

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e e I s - e Vehicle looks a higher priority for today's new-car shoppers A study by J.D. Power and Associates reveals that new-vehicle shoppers are looking more at vehicle styling than reliability when it comes to making their purchase decisions. As vehicles have become more reliable mechanically — providing more consumer confidence — shoppers' attention has turned to how vehicles look, especially the exteriors. "The impact that design and brand image have on new-vehicle shoppers is substantial," said Jon Osborn, research director at J.D. Power and Associates, in an article detailing the results of the study. "Shoppers are concerned about what the vehicle says about them as people and how it can express their individual tastes, just as much as it is about being reliable or holding its value throughout the tenure of ownership." While the reasons for not considering certain models vary greatly among newvehicle shoppers, style and image are the most frequently cited reasons. Thirtythree percent of shoppers avoid a model because they dislike its exterior look or design, while 19% of shoppers said they eliminate a model from consideration because of its interior look or design. Image is cited as a reason for avoidance by 17% of shoppers. According to the study, which is based on responses from approximately 31,000 owners who registered a new vehicle in May 2012, new-vehicle shoppers now consider an average of 3.3 vehicles, compared with 3.1 in 2012, and 2.9 in 2010. Now in its 10th year, the study examines why consumers avoid or don't consider particular models when shopping for a new vehicle. Furthermore, the perception of vehicles' dependability and reliability has improved. Seventeen percent of shoppers said they avoid a model due to its reputation for reliability, compared with 19% in the 2012 study, and 21% in the 2009 study. RE-March-2013.indd 7 "Improved actual and perceived reliability has leveled the playing field, allowing many manufacturers to be considered among new-vehicle shoppers that may not have been considered in the past," Osborn said. "Factors such as gas mileage, styling and comfort play an important role in the decision-making process. The study's findings suggest that marketing a brand image is just as important as building reliable vehicles." The study also revealed that 15% of new-car shoppers cite gas mileage as the primary reason for purchasing a particular model, a similar number to the 2012 study. Shoppers younger than 25 years old are more likely to cite gas mileage as their primary reason for avoidance. STRONGER TOUGHER MORE DURABLE 5 UniqUe FenDeR FlaRe STyleS New & late model applicatioNs: Ford, GMC, Chevy, Dodge, Toyota, Jeep & Nissan mouNtiNg is easy, fasteners hold flares in place, using existing factory holes (most applications) matte black fiNish (can be painted) street flares Adding style has never been easier! ™ add protectioN… covers nicks and scratches 800-338-3800 March 2013 | Restyling 7 2/11/13 2:57 PM

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