Maritz Poll: Auto Consumers Prefer Low Everyday Prices Over Other Sales Incentives

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Low retail prices on vehicles overwhelmingly beat out auto incentive models in recent survey of vehicle owners.

According to a recent Maritz Poll, low retail pricing on vehicles overwhelmingly beat out other auto incentive models including zero percent financing, three-year lower gas price guarantee, an employee discount for everyone, a cash back rebate and “no-haggle” pricing (listed in order of preference).

The results support the move toward a lower transaction price that some automakers have been implementing recently. Maritz’ Automotive Research Group, one of the world’s leading authorities on automotive customer satisfaction research, conducted the survey of 1,009 adult owners and drivers of vehicles.

To determine vehicle owners’ preferences, the survey compared five types of auto sales incentives offered by vehicle manufacturers with “Lower Retail Price.” In head-to-head comparisons, “Lower Retail Price” was preferred over every other customer buying incentive, and in many cases, by more than a two-to-one margin. The percentage of respondents preferring Lower Retail Price versus other incentives were:

Lower Retail Price    57    versus    Zero Percent Financing            43

Lower Retail Price    64    versus    Three-Year Lower Gas Price Guarantee    36

Lower Retail Price     69    versus    Employee Discount                31

Lower Retail Price    69    versus    Cash Back Rebate                31

Lower Retail Price    74    versus    “No-Haggle” Price                26

“The survey indicates that the manufacturers offering one low price are right on target,” said David Ensing, Ph.D., director, Research and Development for Maritz’ Automotive Research Group. “The trick here is that consumers are used to looking for that incentive, so it’s the responsibility of the manufacturers to educate consumers with regard to the fact that the low ‘value’ price is on par with or better than the price they would have paid during the time when higher prices were discounted by incentives.”

About Maritz Poll®    

Maritz Poll® is a copyrighted poll conducted since 1988 by Maritz Research Inc. Maritz Poll® comprises regular surveys on topics related to the automotive, financial services, hospitality, retail, technology, and telecommunications sectors as well as workplace issues. Sampling error for the overall poll is +/-3 percent. Results of the poll may be used in print or broadcast media, provided credit is given to the Maritz Poll and/or Maritz Research. For more information, visit or call 1-877-4MARITZ.

About Maritz’ Automotive Research Group

Maritz’ Automotive Research Group (ARG) is one of the world’s leading providers of automotive research. Based in Toledo, Ohio, the group also has offices in Detroit, Los Angeles, Toronto, Hamburg, and London. Maritz currently conducts customer satisfaction programs that cover 70 percent of the new cars and light trucks sold in the United States. In support of these programs, Maritz conducts more than 1 million telephone interviews and mails more than 40 million questionnaires each year. Over 17,000 North American and European automotive dealers have access to their customer satisfaction and other research results on Web sites created and managed by Maritz.

About Maritz Research

As one of the world’s largest marketing research firms, Maritz Research, a unit of Maritz Inc., helps many of today’s most successful companies improve performance through a deep understanding of their customers, employees and channel partners. Founded in 1973, it offers a range of strategic and tactical solutions concentrating primarily in the automotive, financial services, hospitality, telecommunications, retail, workplace and technology industries. The company has achieved ISO 9001 registration, the international symbol of quality. It is a member of CASRO and official sponsor of the American Marketing Association. Based in St. Louis, Maritz Inc. provides market and customer research, communications, learning solutions, incentive initiatives, meetings and event management, rewards and recognition, travel management services, and customer loyalty programs. Maritz has a presence in 42 countries, with key offices in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Spain. For more information, visit

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Nettie Boivin
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