Consumers Hooked on Auto Incentive Offers

Article excerpt

Byline: Susan Frissell

According to AutoVIBES, a monthly automotive study from Harris Interactive and Kelley Blue Book Marketing Research, consumers have come to depend on new-vehicle incentives in a big way. More than half (51 percent) of U.S. adults who plan to purchase or lease a new vehicle in the next 12 months are not likely to do so without some incentive from the automotive manufacturers.

Up from 44 percent just eight months ago, this figure is the highest it has been since the question was first asked in December 2003. In addition, 67 percent of consumers planning to purchase a new vehicle report that the specific make and model they are likely to choose is dependent on the incentives available. Seventy-one percent say the availability of incentives strongly affects the timing of their purchase.

Kelley Blue Book editorial director and executive marketing analyst Jack R. Nerad is convinced the "domestic manufacturers have trained their customers to look for incentives." Because consumers have been taught to expect these incentives and rebates, says Nerad, buyers often "sit on their checkbooks until the incentives arrive, then flock to the showrooms."

Recent examples are the latest promotions from General Motors, Ford and Chrysler offering employee discounts. …