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Necessity Driving Consumers to Consider
New-Vehicle Purchase in Next 12 Months

December 28, 2010

IRVINE, Calif. – In the case of new- or used-car purchases or leases, Autobytel’s most recent "What’s Hot Now" report reveals that consumers are looking to lease or buy a car out of necessity over the next 12 months, even though they may not have increased confidence in the economy. 

The survey, conducted on Autobytel’s Website, revealed that almost 60 percent of those surveyed had put off purchasing or leasing a used or new car in the past because of the economic climate, but interestingly a huge majority — over 83 percent — said that they would be in the market for a vehicle within the next 12 months. Almost 44 percent of responders said they were in the market now, while 22 percent said they would be in the market six months from now, and further out 16 percent within the next six to 12 months.

When asked what was motivating their decision to purchase, only 7 percent said that they had greater confidence in the economy, with the majority of respondents — 55 percent — reporting that they needed to purchase or lease a car out of necessity or greater cost-efficiency (39 percent and 16 percent respectively). Other factors in the decision to purchase or lease a vehicle included a newer or better style or model of car (20 percent), while the remaining 17 percent of respondents were not considering purchasing a vehicle.

“It’s great news for our member dealers and OEM partners that such a wide majority of consumers are considering purchasing a new or used vehicle in the next year even though consumer confidence in the economy has not improved significantly,” said Jeff Coats, president and CEO of Autobytel. “A traditionally slower time of year for car sales, the November’s sales reports were right on track with other months, helped in part by a rise in demand for domestic trucks and SUV’s. Our survey indicates that the majority of consumers think this buying trend will continue well into 2011.”

Autobytel’s "What’s Hot Now" snapshot survey was conducted on Autobytel’s network of consumer automotive sites, including autobytel.com, in November 2010. Over 2,000 consumers responded to the survey. Click to find the complete Autobytel "What’s Hot Now: What’s Driving Your Purchasing Decision” survey. Key results of the study reveal (see charts and highlights below):

• The majority of consumers say they have put off purchasing or leasing a vehicle because of the economy.

• The majority of consumers plan to purchase or lease a vehicle in the next 12 months.

• A vehicle is the next major purchase most respondents are choosing to make.

• Approximately the same number of respondents are more confident, as less confident, in the economy.

• Majority of respondents say they would purchase a less expensive vehicle, a pre-owned vehicle or a more fuel-efficient vehicle in order to save money.

• A lower unemployment rate was the external factor with the greatest impact on the likeliness of respondents to purchase a new vehicle.

Autobytel’s "What’s Hot Now" Key Results

Vehicle Purchases in Next 12 Months

Eighty-three percent are considering purchasing or leasing a new or used vehicle in the next 12 months with 44 percent considering buying now, 23 percent buying in six months, and 16 percent buying in six to 12 months.

See graphic display of results.

Next Major Purchase

Eighty-four percent of people are planning to make a purchase or commit to a significant financial investment, with 59 percent purchasing a new or used car.

See graphic display of results.

Has the Economic Climate Impacted Your Choice of Vehicle?

Sixty-three percent of respondents said that the economy has affected their choice of car, with price, the cost of fuel and the availability of pre-owned cars cited equally.

See graphic display of results.

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