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5/2/2012 - Car buyers more swayed by practicality

Car buyers focus on practical matters over other concerns.

As automakers and dealers implement a number of strategies to appeal to consumers, a new analysis indicates potential car buyers are listening to these marketing messages in different ways than they have in the past.

The report was conducted by Foresight Research, and interviewed nearly 7,900 new vehicle buyers about how they interpreted some of the messages they received from automotive advertisers. They found that overall, buyers were not as influenced by messages that were emotion-based, but instead were more affected by messages that emphasized practicality and usability.

In addition, the study found that fuel economy affected car buyers' decisions, as did brand reputation, something auto insurance providers may also take into consideration when assessing rates.

Steve Bruyn, CEO of Foresight Research, noted that these messages might have influenced the automotive sector's economic recovery.

"After historic lows in 2009, U.S. light vehicle sales stabilized in 2010, and improved toward the end of 2011," said Bruyn. "Our sample of 2010 to 2011 buyers represents a unique viewpoint into their behaviors and influences as the auto industry recovers from the worst economic period since the Great Depression." 

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