Could it be consumers have just gotten accustomed to high gasoline prices?
Quality/dependability jumped to the top of the list of most-important preferences cited by both new car and truck shoppers in a survey of nearly 1,700 respondents conducted by the National Automobile Dealers Association in McLean, Va.
Fuel economy – which was the number one issue picked by all new-vehicle shoppers last year – fell to the number-two position with auto buyers and plummeted to number three (with brand preference placing second) among those considering light-duty trucks.
“While higher gasoline prices and stiffer federal regulations have raised the profile of fuel economy over the past few years, the survey results clearly indicate that car and light-truck shoppers are looking for a trouble-free ownership experience above all else,” says Jonathan Banks, executive automotive analyst for the NADA Used Car Guide (nadaguides.com).
Other highly ranked car- and truck-buying considerations include design, safety, versatility/utility and power/performance. – Jim Gorzelany
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