Car News

Dissing the Discount: What Car Shoppers Want

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2016 Toyota 4Runner Limited
Used 2016 Toyota 4Runner
$31,314
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2016 Toyota Sequoia 4WD SR5
Used 2016 Toyota Sequoia
$31,680
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2016 Toyota Corolla S Plus
Used 2016 Toyota Corolla
$13,850
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2016 Toyota RAV4 AWD LE
Used 2016 Toyota RAV4
$17,990
RELATED READING
See all Toyota any articles
RESEARCH BY MAKE
Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs
Acura cars, trucks and SUVs Alfa Romeo cars, trucks and SUVs AMC cars, trucks and SUVs Aston Martin cars, trucks and SUVs Audi cars, trucks and SUVs Bentley cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Bugatti cars, trucks and SUVs Buick cars, trucks and SUVs Cadillac cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Chrysler cars, trucks and SUVs Daewoo cars, trucks and SUVs Datsun cars, trucks and SUVs DeLorean cars, trucks and SUVs Dodge cars, trucks and SUVs Eagle cars, trucks and SUVs Ferrari cars, trucks and SUVs FIAT cars, trucks and SUVs Fisker cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Freightliner cars, trucks and SUVs Genesis cars, trucks and SUVs Geo cars, trucks and SUVs GMC cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs HUMMER cars, trucks and SUVs Hyundai cars, trucks and SUVs INFINITI cars, trucks and SUVs Isuzu cars, trucks and SUVs Jaguar cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Kia cars, trucks and SUVs Lamborghini cars, trucks and SUVs Land Rover cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Lincoln cars, trucks and SUVs Lotus cars, trucks and SUVs Maserati cars, trucks and SUVs Maybach cars, trucks and SUVs Mazda cars, trucks and SUVs McLaren cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs Mercury cars, trucks and SUVs MINI cars, trucks and SUVs Mitsubishi cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Oldsmobile cars, trucks and SUVs Plymouth cars, trucks and SUVs Pontiac cars, trucks and SUVs Porsche cars, trucks and SUVs RAM cars, trucks and SUVs Rolls-Royce cars, trucks and SUVs Saab cars, trucks and SUVs Saturn cars, trucks and SUVs Scion cars, trucks and SUVs smart cars, trucks and SUVs SRT cars, trucks and SUVs Subaru cars, trucks and SUVs Suzuki cars, trucks and SUVs Tesla cars, trucks and SUVs Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Volvo cars, trucks and SUVs Yugo cars, trucks and SUVs
RESEARCH BY STYLE
AWD/4WD
Commercial
Convertible
Coupe
Hatchback
Hybrid/Electric
Luxury
Sedan
SUV/Crossover
Truck
Van/Minivan
Wagon
ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Lindsay Martell September 2016

Snagging a deal means a lot when it comes to the must-have skinny jeans you've been eyeing, but is it top-priority for car shoppers searching for their next ride? Not so much.

New data released by SalesFuel finds that folks don't care much about discounts. Topping the list of car buying must-haves? New models.

The company, based in Columbus, Ohio, conducted a survey of roughly 2,500 American consumers. It found that 19 percent of U.S. adults say they intend to buy a new car or truck in the next 12 months, but the desire to buy has little to do with how much cash they may save after signing on the dotted line. In fact, SalesFuel's research found 23 percent of buyers want a new model, with 21 percent saying they have problems with their current cars. Meanwhile, 20 percent need an additional vehicle for their families, and a mere 8.3 percent say deals and/or incentives are too good to pass up.

What Customers Want

This data makes it clear for carmakers and dealerships that promotions and financial enticements don't weigh heavily in a buyer's decision to break the bank on a new ride. SalesFuel recommends that automakers focus their marketing tactics on exciting customers with solid reasons for upgrading to a new model, such as better technology, reliability, increased safety features and hard-to-pass-up body styles.

Dealerships, take note: When car shoppers were asked which factors were most important in choosing a dealership, a hefty 59 percent said reputation. This is a critical insight for dealerships looking to shake up their marketing campaigns. SalesFuel suggests showcasing actual feedback from new buyers and repeat customers.

Once buyers make it onto the lot, 48 percent say they go out of their way to shop where salespeople are helpful and friendly, which reinforces how important it is for sales staff to smile and take genuine interest in customers. The fancy extras don't mean nearly as much: A mere 10 percent of car shoppers say they're willing to pay more for a vehicle with limited- or special-edition options.

Cash Savings

Other factors that weigh heavily on car shoppers? How much cash they'll be parting with each month. Over half (53 percent) say the monthly payment weighs heavily when choosing a vehicle, as do gas mileage (45 percent) and seating comfort (37 percent). Having a convertible top is the least important factor.

The data also looked at the favorite respondents' carmakers. Toyota took the top spot with 34 percent. Ford came in second place with 31 percent, and Chevrolet took bronze with 28.5 percent. The least popular car? Maserati.

As for the most popular makes and models, 38 percent preferred the 4-door sedan, with the SUV right on the sedan's heels, raking in 30 percent of the vote. Hybrids or electrics came in at 21 percent, and diesel-powered vehicles nabbed just 8 percent.

The takeaways from these handfuls of data? Discounts don't really matter, but new models do. And while extra incentives won't seal the deal, a salesperson's demeanor is key.

With automakers rolling out newer, slicker models all the time and dealerships trying to keep up, this kind of insight into the minds of car shoppers is indispensible.

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2016 Toyota 4Runner Limited
Used 2016 Toyota 4Runner
$31,314
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2016 Toyota Sequoia 4WD SR5
Used 2016 Toyota Sequoia
$31,680
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2016 Toyota Corolla S Plus
Used 2016 Toyota Corolla
$13,850
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2016 Toyota RAV4 AWD LE
Used 2016 Toyota RAV4
$17,990
This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Dissing the Discount: What Car Shoppers Want - Autotrader