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Car Shoppers Turn to Used Models

CONSUMER BRIEFS

February 17, 1995

Almost two-thirds of consumers shopping for a new car or truck said rising prices are causing them to consider used models, according to a national study released this week at the 1995 National Automobile Dealers Assn. convention in Dallas. The survey, conducted by Glendale automotive marketing research firm Dohring Co., shows 62.1% of respondents said the high prices of new vehicles are prompting them to consider less-expensive used vehicles. The data underscores increasing concerns that rising vehicle prices are pushing more consumers into the used market. The NADA released a study this week showing that the average price of a new car will probably pass the $20,000 mark this year. A new car cost about $18,200 in 1993, according to the group, up from $17,100 in 1992 and $10,725 in 1983.

The study also found:

* 60.5% of respondents said they like to negotiate the purchase price of a new vehicle, up from 52.8% in the year-earlier study. About 88% said they would visit a dealership that advertises a single, non-negotiable price, but only to obtain the quote and try to get other dealerships to beat it.

* 35.6% of respondents said American-brand automobiles are better in overall quality than Japanese vehicles, compared to 29.1% of respondents to a similar study in 1993.

* Safety is a prime concern of buyers, with 84.1% of respondents saying anti-lock brakes would be an important consideration in their next purchase of a new vehicle. Almost 80% cited air bags and 71% cited traction control as other safety features that could influence their purchase decision.

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