September 6, 2013 2:00 am
Fuel Economy, cited as the most important preference of both car and light-truck buyers in last year's survey, was selected as the second-most important factor by car shoppers in this year's survey. Light-truck shoppers ranked Brand as number two, one spot ahead of Fuel Economy.
"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.
Quality/Dependability, Brand, Fuel Economy and Vehicle Design were the top preferences for both car and light-truck shoppers surveyed.
Car Shopper Survey Results
Just like the results from the fall survey in 2012, car shoppers showed a significant preference for Vehicle Design, Safety and Fuel Economy, with an average 69 percent of respondents citing these factors as either important or very important.
On average, 60 percent of respondents shopping for a car rated Versatility/Utility and Power/Performance as either important or very important. Similarly, an average 58 percent of car shoppers rated cost of ownership factors, such as Warranty Coverage, Depreciation and Maintenance Fees, as either important or very important.
Car shopper preferences for Navigation System, Smartphone Connectivity and Driver-Assist Technologies 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.
Light-Truck Shopper Survey Results
The preferences of light-truck shoppers surveyed were similar to car shoppers when determining the factors that had the greatest influence on their next vehicle purchase, although the ranking of each preference differed slightly.
Safety, Versatility/Utility, Vehicle Design and Fuel Economy rounded out the top-five preferences of survey respondents shopping for a light truck.
Similar to the survey respondents shopping for a new car, an average 58 percent of light-truck shoppers rated ownership cost factors, excluding Insurance Fees, as important or very important. Smartphone Connectivity, Navigation System and Driver-Assist Technologies were ranked by light-truck shoppers as unimportant or very unimportant.
Banks pointed out that only 50 percent of survey respondents shopping for light trucks considered Towing/Payload Capacity to be important or very important. The preference of Towing/Payload Capacity increased in importance for shoppers of full-size pickup trucks and large utility vehicles, while Fuel Economy dropped.
Published with permission from RISMedia.