SEMA eNews Vol. 10, No. 24, June 14, 2007

DEMAND FOR AUTOS REBOUNDS

After falling for two months in a row, consumer demand for new automobiles rebounded 3% in May, with 17% of all U.S. households saying that they are very (8%) or somewhat (9%) likely to purchase or lease a new automobile within the next six months (versus 14% who were likely to purchase or lease a new automobile in April), according to TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence.

This month, demand for new automobiles improved among 21 of the 26 consumer groups that TechnoMetrica tracks, fell among three groups, and remained virtually unchanged among two. The sharpest increases occurred among African-American and Hispanic consumers (+11.4 percentage points), 18–24 year olds (+11.1), Midwesterners (+7.3) and parents (+6.9).

On the other hand, demand fell most among those with household incomes above $75K (-6.5), followed by consumers aged 45–64 (-2.9) and Southerners (-1.2).

The highest demand levels were observed among people aged 25–44 (24% say they are likely to purchase or lease a new automobile within the next six months), African-American and Hispanic consumers (23%), parents and suburbanites (21%, respectively).

Groups least likely to purchase or lease a new vehicle included those over the age of 65 (10%), consumers between the ages of 45–64 (11%), those with only a high school education, as well as those with annual incomes between $30K–$50K (13%, respectively).

Of the 17% of households that are likely to purchase or lease a new vehicle within the next six months, 15% say they are likely to make their purchase/lease within one month, while 27% are looking two to three months in the future and 50% expect their purchase/lease to occur four to six months down the line.

With 23% of the vote, midsize cars rank first among likely buyers, while compact cars, with a 21% share, hold second place. Other vehicle types that made rank in May’s survey included: 

  • Small SUVs (15% of likely buyers say they are most likely to purchase or lease this type of vehicle)
  • Minivans (10%)
  • Fullsize cars (8%)
  • Trucks (7%)
  • Large SUVs (7%)

Consumers preferences tended to lean more strongly towards domestic automakers (44%), although Asian automakers did well too (35%). In terms of brand, Ford (14%) held the top spot, followed closely by Toyota (13%), Honda (12%) and Chevrolet (10%).

Planned new-vehicle expenditures were roughly inline with expectations, with the average likely buyer planning to spend around $24,000 for a new vehicle. However, a sizable number (33%) do plan on spending more than $30K, and 11% plan on spending more than $40K.

Source: TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence. (May 31, 2007). “Demand for Autos Rebounds in May.” AutoView Newsletter. www.technometrica.com.