Phoenix Marketing International’s 2013 Research Shows Best Targets for Alternative Fuel Vehicles are Luxury SUV and Non-Luxury Car Consumers

Share Article

Truck consumers are the least likely to join the hybrid/electric movement.

News Image

Phoenix Marketing International’s Automotive Practice has released findings from its 2013 research regarding purchase consideration of alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs). Throughout the year, the Automotive Practice collects data from consumers who were recently or are currently in the market for a new vehicle, and asks them about their willingness to consider an AFV on their next purchase or lease. Data for this analysis were collected in January, July, and October of 2013. Phoenix data show that consumers in the market for luxury SUVs and non-luxury cars are the most prone to consider an AFV. For the study in question, AFV refers to vehicles powered by electricity, hybrid system, hydrogen fuel cell, or natural gas.

PMI’s Automotive Practice is well-versed in brand health and advertising effectiveness tracking for familiar marques across the industry. Insights they draw from the firm’s continuously running syndicated audit provide competitive intelligence on trends in branded communications and consumer perceptions. Phoenix Analyst Kevin Severance notes, “We’ve seen a generally positive response to ads that promote hybrid or alternative fuel vehicle offerings. Just mentioning the availability of a hybrid tends to get consumers’ attention as it serves as a proxy for other concerns like fuel economy and innovation. Seeing the positive response to advertising with the hybrid/electric message, we also wanted to measure the willingness to follow through on that response and actually consider purchasing an AFV.”

In 2013, Phoenix finds that about half of all automotive consumers aren’t strongly for or against the AFV movement, i.e. their likelihood of considering one for purchase is neutral, so the important differences lie in the extremes. Luxury SUV consumers and non-luxury car consumers came in with the highest percentages of those inclined (“very” or “extremely” likely) toward AFV purchase consideration at 35.8% and 35.7%, respectively. What’s not surprising are the results for non-luxury car, given that most hybrid and electric vehicle offerings are available in that category, but why luxury SUV consumers? Severance comments, “Diesel powered models, many from the German brands, have been around for at least a few years, so consumers in the luxury SUV category have had a chance to warm to the concept of vehicles running on something other than conventional gasoline. Couple that with the notion that AFVs partially embody the latest in automotive technology, which our research has shown, and there is a winning combination in the minds of luxury SUV consumers. Perhaps Tesla was right to go after the entirety of the luxury market with the development of Model X after its Roadster and Model S.”

The same cannot be said for consumers of trucks, who have also had plenty of time to warm to the idea of alternative fuel with diesel offerings in that category. Phoenix data show they are the most averse to considering an AFV with 19.8% “very” or “extremely” unlikely to consider one for purchase – that is significantly higher than consumers who are averse to AFVs in any other category. Truck consumers are also the least inclined to consider an AFV at 25.7%, which is statistically lower than consumers in all other categories except non-luxury SUV.

Phoenix will continue to track AFV purchase consideration by collecting data in the first month of ever quarter beginning January 2014.

To view any of Phoenix Marketing International’s recent Automotive Practice reports, please click here.

Phoenix measures advertising performance across five vehicle categories (non-luxury car, non-luxury CUV/SUV, truck, luxury car, and luxury CUV/SUV) and tracks the brand health of leading automotive companies in two segments (luxury and non-luxury). Data are collected monthly from 1800+ U.S. consumers who have recently purchased or are currently in the market for a new vehicle. Brands tracked for advertising and brand data include Acura, Audi, BMW, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Ford, GMC, Honda, Hyundai, Infiniti, Jaguar, Jeep, Kia, Land Rover, Lexus, Lincoln, Mazda, Mercedes, Mini, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Porsche, Ram, Range Rover, Saab, Scion, Subaru, Suzuki, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Volvo.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Kristin Johnson
Phoenix Marketing International
+1 845-876-8228 Ext: 308
Email >
Visit website