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Is $4.50 a Gallon the New Gas Price “Wall”?

Nearly 9 in 10 would buy more fuel efficient car “immediately.”

by on Feb.20, 2012

A new study finds most buyers ready to switch to hybrids if fuel prices hit $4.50 - maybe.

Industry observers keep wondering what it would take to produce a wholesale shift in the American automotive marketplace.  Despite near-record prices last Spring and the brief push to $4 a gallon several years earlier, U.S. motorists have largely continued buying the products they’ve always bought.

But a new survey suggests the market could hit a “wall” at $4.50 a gallon, nearly nine of every 10 “new-vehicle intenders” telling CNW Marketing they would purchase a more fuel-efficient model “immediately” were prices to reach that level.  And the vast majority of those buyers said they would specifically be in the market for a hybrid.

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“Toss in the possibility of $5 per gallon gasoline,” said CNW Marketing director Art Spinella, and the study would suggest the hybrid – and presumably electric – vehicle markets should explode.”

Or will they?

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Study Finds Diesel, Gas Have Leg Up On Hybrids

“Dust to Dust” study looks at overall energy costs.

by on Aug.24, 2010

Ford Focus: could it be more energy-efficient than the Toyota Prius?

It’s become conventional wisdom that hybrids have a significant energy advantage over commonplace gasoline and diesel-powered automobiles.  But according to a new study, conventional wisdom is once against wrong.

In a face-off that takes into account everything from production to the eventual disposal of a vehicle – along with the fuel used while that vehicle is on the road – gasoline and diesel trump hybrids, declares the latest in an ongoing series of “Dust to Dust” studies by the West Coast research firm, CNW Marketing.

But pure battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, may trump all other automotive technologies, according to CNW’s chief, Art Spinella.

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“When it comes to the total energy cost to society of individual models of vehicles, diesel and gasoline powered vehicles are less expensive from “Dust to Dust” than the current comparable hybrid offerings,” says Spinella, adding that, “In a face-off between diesel and gasoline, diesel-powered models are similarly less energy intensive.”

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Fear of Credit Problems Cost 800,000 Lost Sales During First Quarter

Qualified shoppers steering clear of showrooms

by on Apr.16, 2009

There's more money for car loans out there than many buyers realize, says a new report indicating up to 800,000 potential sales were lost during the first quarter of 2009.

There's more money for car loans out there than many buyers realize, says a new report indicating up to 800,000 potential sales were lost during the first quarter of 2009.

As many as 800,000 new car buyers steered clear of showrooms, during the first quarter fearing they’d be turned down for a loan, reveals a new report.

There’s little doubt that a lack of credit is hurting the overall American economy, and car sales, in particular.  But just the fear of credit problems could keep the automotive market depressed, even after lenders loosen up, says CNW Research, in its Retail Automotive Summary.

As much as a quarter of those who could have qualified for a car loan, even under the stricter guidelines enacted during the credit crunch, believe they couldn’t get financing and have steered clear of the market, CNW research found.  That comes to anywhere between 400,000 and 800,000 lost sales.

Considering the average new vehicle now costs $27,500, that works out to as much as $20 billion in lost revenues.  And based on recent market shares, that would translate into perhaps as much as $4 billion for General Motors alone, a figure that would have helped, though likely not have averted, the company’s current financial crisis.

“There are always new-car intenders who believe they can’t get an auto loan and thus drop out of the market before completing an application,” explained CNW director Art Spinella.  “But the lack of proactive loan offers in the past year caused a goodly number to simply not ask.”

Complicating the auto sales crisis even further, CNW calculated that a minimum 200,000 more potential buyers were shut out of the market during the first quarter of 2009 by “tight-fisted banks and other lending institutions” that may have gone even beyond the requirements of current, tightened lending rules.

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