A study was recently done by J.D Power on the factors influencing car buying decision. The study was conducted from more than 24,000 US buyers of 2011 who made their purchase in 2011. Although the study was not done in Singapore, there are some interesting points that local consumer and distributors can take note.
The study found that word-of-mouth is typically a critical factor in the choice a car buyer makes, yet conventional wisdom about which brands have the best quality may be sorely out of date. The study found that 40 percent of buyers said they steered clear of one brand or another because of what they had heard about quality, rather than actually checking for the latest data.
“The fact that so many new-vehicle buyers may be basing their opinions about quality and reliability on pre-conceived notions, rather than concrete information or data, demonstrates how important it is for automakers to promote the quality and reliability of their models,” said Osborn, research director at J.D. Power and Associates. “That’s especially significant for brands that have experienced marked improvements in recent years,” Osborn added. He cited Ford and Hyundai as examples whereby word-of-mouth might lag the brands’ reality. He suggested that those makers must proactively tell their quality story, “rather than just waiting for perceptions to change over time.”
The study also found that fuel economy is now the most influential factor in choosing or avoiding a product, though factors like price and styling are also strongly influential. The study was initiated about the time gas prices had just begin dropping from their 2011 peak, so it may not be a surprise that fuel economy was the single biggest factor. In the study, it was highlighted that price and styling are affecting the sales of hybrid models such as the Chevrolet Volt and Toyota Prius in the US. Performance was another turn-off, especially with the Prius, Power reports.