80% of US Car Buyers Won't Buy Domestic… or Imports
J.D. Power and Associates has just released their 2007 Escaped Shopper Study (an APB has been issued). After surveying 31,355 new-vehicle buyers between May and July 2007, J.D.'s mob says that 80 percent of US new car buyers won't cross-shop an import (if they're domestically inclined) or a domestic (if they're a import inclined). That's bad news for The Big 2.8. But it gets worse. The 20 percent of buyers up for grabs "frequently decide against import brands for financial reasons, most often citing that the import didn't offer aggressive rebates or other incentives." In other words, Detroit's fire sales have caught up with them but good; they're high cost producers appealing to a price-focused audience. At the same time, the study says import buyers who reject a domestic model cite "perceived vehicle attribute deficiencies:" concerns for reliability, gas mileage or poor resale value. J.D.'s automotive retail research manager connects the dots. "To win back market share, domestics are faced with two alternatives," Kara Steslicki opines. "Either continue outspending imports on incentives, or find vehicle specific opportunities, such as styling or promoting a positive dealer experience, that can have an immediate impact on consumer perceptions of the brand." Not bloody likely then.