Fuel Economy Remains Most Influential Purchase Reason: J.D. Power

Fuel economy remains the most influential purchase reason for buyers when shopping for new vehicles, according to the latest J.D. Power and Associates 2013 Avoider Study.

According to the recent study, 15 percent of new vehicle owners said fuel economy was the primary consideration in purchasing their vehicle, although new vehicle buyers still avoid hybrids and electric vehicles because of higher initial cost. Other reasons why new car shoppers are avoiding hybrids and EVs are due to their exterior styling.

“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,” said Jon Osborn, research director at J.D. Power and Associates.

In addition, as vehicle reliability continues to improve across the industry, shoppers are now considering more vehicles when researching – up to 3.3 in 2013, compared to 3.1 in 2012 and 2.9 in 2010. The survey showed that 33 percent of shoppers avoided a model because they didn’t like its aesthetics while 19 percent avoided a model because of its interior design and style. Meanwhile, 17 percent of shoppers avoided a model because they didn’t like the image it portrayed.

“Factors, such as gas mileage, styling and comfort, play an important role in the decision-making process. The study findings suggest that marketing a brand image is just as important as building reliable vehicles,” Osborn said.

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