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MORE GOOD NEWS FOR AUTO INDUSTRY: NATIONAL STUDY SAYS AMERICAN CONSUMERS FAVORABLE TO CAR DEALERS

 DETROIT, Jan. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- The majority of automotive consumers in the U.S. have a favorable impression of new car dealerships, but would like to see some changes in the way cars and trucks are sold and serviced. This is according to a national study just conducted by The Dohring Company, Inc., a Glendale, Calif.-based automotive market research firm. These findings were announced at the 1994 North American International Auto Show in Detroit today.
 In the poll, 79.7 percent of respondents said that they have a mostly or very favorable impression of new car dealerships in America. And, 30.3 percent of respondents said that their impression of new car dealerships is more favorable today than five years ago.
 "Overall, a strong majority of American automobile consumers have a positive attitude toward new car dealers," said Doug Dohring, chairman and chief executive officer of The Dohring Company. "The quality of new vehicles is better, perceptions of the retail experience are better -- this is very good news for the industry and will help to sustain the optimistic sales projections that we're seeing beyond the short term," said Dohring.
 The survey suggests that most consumers have positive impressions of new car dealerships; they also have strong opinions about improvements they would like to see in the way new cars and trucks are sold and serviced.
 Some consumer responses from the study include:
 -- 74.7 percent of respondents feel dealers should change or improve the way they do business. The three most mentioned changes or improvements were: less pressure/pushy (18.3 percent); more understanding (13.4 percent); and more honest/trustworthy (12.8 percent).
 -- 27.7 percent feel the process of negotiating the price of a new vehicle should be eliminated. 48.5 percent feel the negotiation process should be improved upon and 20 percent feel it should stay the same.
 -- 76.8 percent of respondents feel that new car dealers should be financially rewarded or penalized by the auto manufacturers based on the satisfaction ratings of their customers.
 -- 56.7 percent of respondents said they prefer to shop a dealership which offers two or more vehicle makes. 43.3 percent said they prefer a dealership which offers only a single vehicle make.
 -- Of those consumers who said they will purchase a new vehicle in the future, 50 percent said they intend to make this purchase within the next two years.
 "Meeting the needs of the consumer at the retail level -- during and after the sale -- is where the industry needs to focus. Most of the automakers and their dealers have recognized this. Those who are most successful in doing this will prevail and profit," Dohring said.
 The national consumer study was conducted with a sample of 1,246 consumers from all 50 states who intend to purchase a new or used vehicle from a new car dealership.
 The proportional random sampling accurately portrays the attitudes of the U.S. car-buying public. The study has a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percent.
 The Dohring Company, Inc. is North America's largest provider of customer market research to the retail automotive industry. The company has conducted over 1,800 research projects for individual dealers, dealer advertising associations and automakers. This year The Dohring Company will interview over 150,000 automotive consumers.
 -0- 1/5/94
 /CONTACT: Eric L. Hood or Nevenka Todorovic of The Hood Group, 313-433-9651, for The Dohring Company/


CO: The Dohring Company, Inc. ST: Michigan IN: AUT SU:

KT -- DE039 -- 9441 01/05/94 15:33 EST
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Date:Jan 5, 1994
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