SEMA eNews Vol. 10, No. 25, June 21, 2007


What characteristics are most important to new-vehicle buyers? Recent data from the automotive consulting firm AutoPacific shows that overall reliability and durability tops the list of characteristics new-vehicle buyers are looking for when making their automotive purchases. In their Future Vehicle Study, AutoPacific sent out its survey to new-vehicle buyers to find out what features, characteristics and types of vehicles they look for in their current and future vehicle purchases. On a scale of one to five, survey respondents were asked to rate several vehicle characteristics in terms of importance. The top 10 in terms of average characteristic rating are shown in the table below.

AutoPacific also asked new-vehicle buyers to indicate what vehicle features they want on their next vehicle purchase. In order to get a more accurate reading, typical costs of each of the features were provided next to each item. The table below shows that new-vehicle buyers have safety in mind when considering their next vehicle, as shown by the top three features listed.

Specialty-equipment companies often want to know what types of vehicles consumers will buy next. The AutoPacifc data showed that, despite rising gasoline prices, consumers are still considering SUVs and pickups because these vehicles show up on the top 10 vehicle types considered, as shown in the table below.

An overwhelming 65% of the new-vehicle buyers surveyed indicated that they plan to purchase a gasoline powertrain, while 26% indicated hybrid and 7% said diesel was their next vehicle powertrain choice. A majority (54%) of those surveyed said they will purchase a six-cylinder engine, 29% a V8 and 14% a four-cylinder engine the next time they purchase a vehicle. So when will most new-vehicle buyers make their next purchase? AutoPacific asked that as well, and the results are shown in the table below.

AutoPacific regularly sends out its survey to new-vehicle buyers. The results above were taken from a sample of 23,958 consumers-59% male and 61% female. For more information about AutoPacific, including how to obtain more data, visit

Source: SEMA Research & Information Center