Recent Study Shows Why Buyers Avoid Certain New Vehicles

March 4, 2016

For the first time during the past 10 years, reliability has been a top priority for car buyers. The increased avoidance of purchasing certain vehicles because of lower reliability ratings was found in a study conducted by J.D. Power.

This study has been conducted for the past 13 years to analyze why consumers choose certain cars and avoid others when they shop for new vehicles. According to the study results, 55 percent of buyers who were shopping for new vehicles cited reliability as their top priority. This number was up from 48 percent a few years prior in 2013.

According to experts, vehicles have improved in durability and reliability over the past several years. However, recalls and new technologies have made consumers even more concerned about purchasing new vehicles. This concern played an increasingly important role in what vehicles they ultimately chose. A few recalls that are tied to bad accidents can tarnish a manufacturer's name. Buyers may be hesitant to purchase any model from that manufacturer even if the recalls are only for one or two specific models.

The study showed that buyers who had reservations about choosing certain types of vehicles also had concerns about resale value. In addition to this, they had concerns about safety ratings and maintenance issues. Fuel efficiency has dropped as a top concern with fuel prices remaining much lower. Another interesting finding was how many buyers bought the same model or make in a newer version. Nearly 55 percent of respondents reported doing this, and more than 45 percent of participants reported buying a vehicle from a different manufacturer. In these cases, the buyers wanted to try something different.

With so many manufacturers making improvements and adding new technologies, the competition is tough. Manufacturers have to commit to quality to avoid recalls and a tarnished reputation, and they have to offer similar or better features for the same value as the competition to stay ahead. In addition to this, they must keep their designs looking fresh, innovative and attractive enough to lure potential buyers away from the competition. Nearly 60 percent of the survey respondents cited the vehicle's appearance as a top factor in gaining initial interest and making a purchasing decision.

Manufacturers must also keep fuel economy in mind in the event that fuel prices rise, and safety is always paramount. The IIHS is always tightening its standards for its Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick+ awards, which are coveted by all manufacturers since buyers rely heavily on these award lists. Dealerships also face a tougher time. Window shopping has been mostly replaced with online research and reviews. According to the survey, buyers usually only physically examine three models, and they end up buying one of them. The days of all buyers visiting five or more dealerships have passed. Dealers and manufacturers have their work cut out for them to keep up in a competitive market. To learn more about buying habits and insurance issues related to buying a new car, discuss concerns with an agent.

Click here to return to Amity Insurance E-Newsletter March 4, 2016.