December 2, 2009
DO GREEN CARS ADD UP?
Reconciling Consumer Expectations with Reality Won’t be Easy
TUSTIN, Calif. (December 2, 2009) – A study released today by automotive research firm AutoPacific shows that while consideration for alternative fueled vehicles is on the rise, it is often driven by economic forces, rather than consumer desire to help the planet. “We have witnessed that hybrid consideration increased with fuel price, until people became used to higher fuel prices,” says Jim Hossack, Vice President of AutoPacific. “Fuel prices have settled down in 2009 and so has demand for hybrid vehicles”
Going green will not be a walk in the park. Hybrid considerers are 10 percentage points more likely than gasoline considerers to agree with the statement, “I am prepared to pay a higher price for an environmentally friendly vehicle.” This is even truer for plug-in hybrid considerers (+17 percentage points) and pure electric considerers (+ 19 percentage points). However, they plan to pay between $2,000 and $5,000 less on their next vehicle than gasoline considerers. “Clearly, there is a disconnect here. While green car considerers indicate that are willing to pay more, they are actually budgeting less for their next car. This needs to be reconciled, or alternative fueled vehicles may stall in the marketplace,” said Hossack.
The just released study, Green Cars and Consumers, Planning for a Changing Market is the result of surveys of more than 32,000 consumers and covers both owners and considerers of gas, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, pure electric and clean diesel light vehicles. Consumers are examined based on many attributes including demographics, psychographics, regular activities, consumer brands purchased, next vehicle segment intention, future brand consideration, next vehicle feature demand, and shopping influencers.
Finding buyers for these vehicles will not be like the early run we saw for the Toyota Prius. Marketers will need to know where their best prospects are. For instance, pure electric considerers are much more likely to be in administrative/clerical work (+13 percentage points) and much more likely to shop at IKEA (+11percentage points) than gasoline considerers. Also, they are much more likely (+13 percentage points) to choose a trip around the world over a new luxury vehicle. “Knowing where to find buyers will be important,” says Hossack. “Otherwise the research and development costs associated with these new technologies could go to waste.”
AutoPacific is a future-oriented automotive marketing research and product-consulting firm. Every year AutoPacific publishes a wide variety of syndicated studies on the automotive industry. The firm, founded in 1986, also conducts extensive proprietary research and consulting for auto manufacturers, distributors, marketers and suppliers worldwide. Company headquarters and its state-of-the-art automotive research facility are in Tustin, California, with an affiliate office in the Detroit area. Additional information can be found on AutoPacific's websites: http://www.autopacific.com and http://news.vehiclevoice.com.
Dan Hall, AutoPacific, (714) 838-4234, firstname.lastname@example.org
Deborah Grieb, AutoPacific, (734) 446-6940, email@example.com
Jim Hossack, AutoPacific, (714) 838-4234, firstname.lastname@example.org