Phoenix Marketing International’s Recent Research Shows Luxury SUV and Non-Luxury Car Consumers Continue to Lead in Alternative Fuel Vehicle Consideration

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Year-over-year Data Show Increase in AFV Consideration among Non-Luxury SUV Consumers

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Phoenix Marketing International’s Automotive Practice has released the latest findings from its ongoing tracking of alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) purchase consideration. In its Syndicated Automotive Brand and Advertising Audit, the Automotive Practice collects data from consumers who were recently or are currently in the market for new vehicles in various categories. Part of the audit includes asking them about their willingness to consider an AFV on their next purchase or lease.

Phoenix’s findings show that from January 2013 to January 2014, consumers in the market for non-luxury cars or luxury SUVs continue to be the most inclined to consider an AFV (they have the largest proportions of top-2 box ratings; “very” or “extremely” likely to consider on a 7-pt. scale). Luxury SUV consumers are also found to be the least averse to considering an AFV in January 2014 (they have the smallest proportion of bottom-2 box ratings; “very” or “extremely unlikely” to consider on the same 7-pt. scale). Non-luxury SUV/CUV consumers who are inclined to consider an AFV show a statistically significant increase year-over-year (designated by red border in the chart below), while truck consumers show a strong but statistically insignificant increase, and luxury car consumers remain relatively stable.

Click here to view chart.

Despite some variation in consideration levels between different vehicle categories, the gaps appear to be narrowing. Phoenix Analyst Kevin Severance explains, “In January 2013, non-luxury car consumers were at the top of AFV consideration with 40% inclined to consider for their next purchase or lease, while non-luxury SUV consumers were at the bottom with only 23% inclined to consider. That’s a 17% gap, with nearly twice as many non-luxury car consumers inclined to consider an AFV as those with the lowest inclination. Fast forward to January 2014 and non-luxury car consumers are still at the top with 38% inclined to consider. This time though, there is a tight cluster that includes luxury car consumers at the bottom with about 33% inclined to consider an AFV; only five percentage points fewer than non-luxury car consumers at the top.” The indication of increased consensus among consumers of all vehicle types can be seen by the converging trend lines in the chart here.

In addition to luxury car consumers coming in with the smallest proportion of those inclined to consider an AFV in January 2014, they also represented the largest proportion of those averse to consider. This item seems to be at odds with some of Phoenix’s recent advertising performance results that show ads for the BMW 3 Series Diesel and the Porsche Panamera Hybrid to be strong performers, which began airing in August and September of 2013, respectively. Severance remarks though, “We know vehicle performance to be among those attributes that luxury car consumers find most appealing. BMW and Porsche are known as performance brands, and their hybrid and diesel offerings are marketed as performance vehicles first and alternative fuel vehicles second. So, it’s not surprising to see the ads perform well. It will be interesting to see how purchase consideration among luxury car consumers may shift over time as more fully electric luxury AFVs like the Cadillac ELR and BMW’s new lineup of the i3 and i8 come to market, and how advertising for those vehicles will impact perception.”

For the study in question, AFVs include vehicles powered by electricity, hybrid system, hydrogen fuel cell, natural gas and other non-petroleum based fuels. Purchase consideration data for the year-over-year analysis were collected throughout the months of January 2013 and January 2014 and ad-related data were collected within individual months throughout the 2013 calendar year. Phoenix will continue to track AFV purchase consideration by collecting data in the first month of ever quarter.

To view any of Phoenix Marketing International’s recent Automotive Practice reports, 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 1200+ 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, Scion, Subaru, Suzuki, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Volvo.

Phoenix Contact:
Dennis Syrkowski/President, Phoenix Automotive
(248) 430-8044

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Kristin Johnson
Phoenix Marketing International
+1 845-876-8228 Ext: 308
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