US: study shows that customers still view mileage as a key selling point image

The US economy has been growing and the auto industry has been recovering last year, with new car sales surging to 16.5 million units thanks to consistently low rates, consumer confidence and later in the year plunging gas prices.

The latter part has been sending car executives scrambling for new sales strategies, as the US public has rekindled its love for the SUV, crossover and truck segments – usually not the typical vehicles you would pitch when discussing fuel economy and high mileage vehicles. And with gas prices dipping below the $2 a gallon mark in parts of the country, you would think mileage is not a key asset on the car-shopping list. According to a recent survey by J.D. Power and Associates you would actually be wrong. The research shows that fuel economy remains the driving factor when consumers buy their new car, truck of crossover, though it won’t be the only one. As it turns out, having the best mileage period won’t cut it if the vehicle you purchase lacks in the design or technological departments, notes the 2015 US Avoiders Study. Power’s survey shows consumer trends when it comes to motivations to purchase, reject or avoid particular models.

Fuel economy has remained for the fourth consecutive time the driving factor when choosing a new vehicle, with 14% of respondents listing it as the No. 1 influence to buy a certain model, while another 16% used it to totally reject a car because of lower mileage ratings. Additionally, the buyers also tend to do the math when it comes to the vehicle to buy – around 24% rejected a hybrid or a vehicle with some other mileage technology because of the increased purchase costs.