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Department of the Obvious: Consumers Increasingly Reluctant To Buy New Cars

“Intent to buy” continues to decline in spite of incentives, guarantees and numerous marketing gimmicks.

by on Apr.20, 2009


The curves are headed in the wrong direction to expect a sales rebound, according to AutoPacific.

All the brave talk by automakers that the U.S. market has reached bottom and is showing signs of life is just that,  talk, according to the latest survey from the AutoPacific market research firm. Consumers in increasing numbers will not put their money into buying or leasing a new vehicle.

Beginning in September 2008 and continuing to today, an internet consumer panel was asked to measure the likelihood of the purchase or lease of a new, not used, vehicle in the next 24 months. The most recent data show those who definitely/probably will not buy has increased from 22% in September, 2008, to 38% in March, 2009 to 42% in April.  

AutoPacific claims this trend is reinforced by the survey’s definitely/probably will buy numbers, which have decreased from 53% last September, to 37% last month, to 35% in April 2009. More than 1,100 persons responded to the survey.

“In early 2008 the US auto industry was hobbled by high gasoline prices, while consumer confidence was beginning its own collapse. Then, just as gas prices declined, the financial crisis hit, and vehicle sales fell even lower,” says George Peterson, president of AutoPacific. (more…)