Auto Service World
News   August 16, 2006   by Auto Service World

Do as They Do, Not as They Say

According to a Maritz Poll conducted earlier this year by the Maritz Automotive Research Group, 75 percent of consumers say they prefer a low retail price without incentives to a higher price with incentives.
However, recent consumer buying behaviour doesn’t necessarily concur.
Automakers who offered employee pricing incentives last summer are seeing lower sales this summer as they attempt to stick to a strategy of offering vehicles at a low retail price without customer incentives.
“It’s clear from the poll that consumers say they don’t want to play the incentives game, but their buying patterns are inconsistent with what they say,” said David Ensing, director of research and development, the Maritz Automotive Research Group.
“They say they want everyday low prices; however, their behaviour indicates that they have been conditioned to wait for the ‘big sale.’ There’s little urgency to buy a vehicle unless there’s a large discount.”
Top reasons respondents say they prefer everyday low pricing:
Better deal
Easier process
Smaller down payment
No worry of better incentives
Easier to get outside financing
Those who prefer customer incentives cite the following reasons:
Helps the negotiation process
Less out-of-pocket expense
Gets the lowest overall price
“This data might hold the key to helping automakers avoid sales slumps that have resulted from consumers waiting for the deep discounts,” said Ensing.
“If the automotive industry can showcase the appealing benefits of everyday low prices, including getting a better deal, creating an easier process and making a smaller down payment, with the same level of marketing support they give incentives and sales, consumers’ actions might become more consistent with what respondents said they wanted when buying a car.”

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