If car buyers find a dealer trustworthy and credible, they will often spend up to US$2,000 more on their new car, according to the new Car Buyers' Expectations 2002 report from Miller-Williams.
The report examines the expectations of US car buyers at Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Toyota and Volkswagen, concluding that car buyers will spend much more money on purchases if car manufacturers and dealers would meet their expectations.
"What we have learned from the research is that 63% of car companies' are missing their mark with today's car buyers," comments Amy Ferraro, project director at Miller-Williams.
Key value drivers
The report identifies five key value drivers for car buyers: trust & credibility, brand & price, customer satisfaction, product features, and product accessibility. It suggests that dealers, advertisers and manufacturers have too long been focusing on discounts, financing and price incentives - and in almost every case, the car companies get their worst ratings in the most important category, 'trust and credibility'. The report suggests that even minor improvements in this area could increase sales and profits significantly.
The new report also addresses online car buying, drawing an interesting conclusion on the subject: just 4.3% of the car buyers surveyed want to buy their cars online. It appears that car manufacturers and dealers do not need to worry about the web replacing the traditional distribution model yet. Instead, Miller-Williams suggests, they should "re-focus this energy back to customer relationships that drive car purchase decisions - particularly the issues of trust and credibility."