Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Speaking to consumers who are keeping their cars longer

Below is a recent article from AutoPacific that discusses how Americans are keeping their cars longer than ever before. I don't think that this is a surprising fact to anyone, but how do businesses that touch the auto industry take advantage of it? Here are a few ideas:
  • Sell New Cars? - You better be talking about the long life and value!
  • Sell Pre-Owned Cars? - Discuss value for the money vs. new.
  • Do you do repair? - We extend the life of your car, no need for a car payment when we can get it back up and running for less than you would expect!
  • Sell Auto Parts? - You are golden these days! Why get a new car when you have the parts to get going again, discuss how relatively easy it is to do most of the work yourself. If you have the knowledge to give the customer advice - shout it from the mountaintops!

The consumer knows what is going on in with the economy and the auto industry these days, so speak to them about things they care about. Have fun & go make some money!


Americans Keeping Their Cars Longer
An annual survey of new vehicle buyers shows a significant increase in the number of people planning to hold on to their cars and trucks. In 2005, just over 46 percent of new car acquirers indicated they would not be shopping for a new vehicle for four years or more; in the just completed survey that number has risen to about 59 percent -- an increase of almost 13 percent. At the same time, the number of people intending to replace their vehicle within the next two years has fallen.

In April, automotive research firm AutoPacific conducted a national Internet survey which revealed that the general public was very hesitant to invest in a new vehicle; with 72 percent of those surveyed saying it would be more than a year before they would be in the market to buy a new car.

That finding supports other surveys which indicate that the public is wary about the current condition of the American automobile industry and the U.S. economy as a whole. It also confirms that not only are consumers wary, but those that did make the investment intend to hold on to their vehicles longer.

"Rapid replacers don't seem to be changing their pattern, but people who previously bought a new car every one or two years have significantly scaled back their purchasing, and those who before bought every three to four years are now waiting at least an additional year," said George Peterson, president of Tustin, California-based AutoPacific.

"We'll not be seeing the frequent replacement pattern brought about by strong incentives and financing programs that made it easy and financially reasonable over the last decade for consumers to get into a new car frequently. This may also tell us that consumers will be putting a higher priority on vehicles with a reputation for quality and durability that meets not only their short-term needs, but also their long-term expected needs."
(Source: AutoPacific, 07/14/09)

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