Auto Service World
Feature   March 1, 2010   by Auto Service World

Who Buys Hybrids?

Pencil Outers, Techies, Firsties, and Statement Makers, That's Who

If you have ever wondered why so many hybrid vehicles on the roads look, well, a bit odd, maybe it’s because of the people who buy them first.

There are five types of hybrid vehicle buyers, according to the March 2010 issue of Road & Track. And aftermarket ser-vice businesses may see some parallels with the types of customers they see.

The article, “Hybrids: Perception vs. Reality,” reveals that of the five types of hybrid car buyers, each has his own distinct attraction to hybrid car ownership.

Firsties are early adopters who gain real pleasure in being pioneers. They were the first digital camera enthusiasts and the first to own the latest and greatest in cell-phone gadgetries. They are willing to pay significant premiums to be the first on their block. Would they buy another hybrid? Probably not. That’s so 20th century.

Techies love technology. Techies are likely to buy future generations of hybrids, so long as those newer technologies are indeed better.

Greens view the automobile as something of an afterthought or a means to an end; enthusiasm for hybrids can be either inward, with a personal satisfaction for saving the environment; or outward, where others are witness to and can share in that same commitment.

Statement Makers are aware of their position in society and they feel they are what they drive. They are image-conscious car owners who would be disappointed if their hybrid didn’t stand out from the rest of the non-hybrid pack.

Pencil-Outers care about the bottom line of hybrid cars and are motivated by the sheer economics of their mobility; these purchasers also pay close attention to things like political implications and energy independence.

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