A new study by AutoTrader.com indicates buyers are less interested in new designs than automakers may think. In an online survey of car shoppers, 57 percent said they do not feel it's important to have the latest redesign, while 79 percent said they would rather take advantage of a good deal on a current model rather than delay their purchase to wait for the newest iteration. We feel inclined to point out that the results may be skewed toward the inclinations of bargain shoppers, as the survey polled AutoTrader.com users.

Even so, the numbers indicate the automotive sector may be experiencing the same shift in buyer trends as the consumer electronics market. Apple, for instance, saw a huge swell in sales when the company began offering older generation iPhone units at a lower cost alongside the newest models.

Still, buyers keep a close eye on the newest cars. The survey revealed 47 percent of respondents believe it's important to be aware of upcoming redesigns, while 56 percent actively search for those redesigns, though buyers are using that information as a bargaining tool to get a good deal on vehicles currently for sale. You can check out the full press release below for more information.
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New Car Shoppers Would Rather Get A Better Deal On A Current Model Than Delay Purchase For A Redesign

Apr 11, 2013

ATLANTA, April 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- How important is it to shoppers to get the latest redesign of a new vehicle? According to recent data from the AutoTrader.com® Trend Engine, the answer among a majority of shoppers is: not very important.

An online survey conducted by AutoTrader.com revealed that 57 percent of shoppers do not feel that it is important to have the latest redesign, and an even larger majority (79 percent) would rather take advantage of a good deal on the current model instead of delaying their purchase for the newest design.

"The world we live in moves quickly, and shoppers are exposed to change almost constantly," said Rick Wainschel, vice president of automotive insights at AutoTrader.com. "From computers to phones to TVs and even cars, the next 'new' release seems to be always just around the corner, making it harder for people to have the latest and greatest for very long. In that environment, especially with such a large purchase as a car, many consumers seem to feel that good is good enough, particularly if it will save them some green."

Additionally, the survey also showed that while consumers are not set on getting the latest design, nearly half (47 percent) feel that it is important to be aware of upcoming redesigns, and 56 percent actively research upcoming designs. However, they are likely using this information to get a good deal on the current model.

While these stats may be disconcerting for OEMs who invest significant time and money into redesigning their vehicles, there is a good lesson to be learned.

"People spend more than 19 hours shopping for a vehicle and typically have a wide consideration set, giving OEMs ample opportunity to influence shoppers," Wainschel continued. "However, automakers will have to tell a holistic and compelling story about what is new and improved in order to have the best chance of convincing shoppers that the new design is truly worth waiting for."

About AutoTrader.com

Created in 1997, Atlanta-based AutoTrader.com is the Internet's ultimate automotive marketplace. As a leading resource for car shoppers and sellers, AutoTrader.com aggregates millions of new, used and certified pre-owned cars from thousands of dealers and private sellers and provides expert articles and reviews. AutoTrader.com, which also operates the AutoTraderClassics.com auto marketing brand, is wholly owned by AutoTrader Group. Additionally, AutoTrader Group owns Kelley Blue Book (KBB.com®) as well as four other companies that provide a full suite of software tools that help dealers and manufacturers manage their inventory and advertising online: vAuto®, HomeNet Automotive®, VinSolutions® and Automotive Information Systems (AIS). AutoTrader Group is a majority-owned subsidiary of Cox Enterprises. Providence Equity Partners is a 25 percent owner of the company and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers is also an investor. For more information, please visit http://press.autotrader.com.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 73 Comments
      ZOZ
      • 1 Year Ago
      The best bargain is when the new design is uglier than the old one, and you can buy the latter much cheaper. I remember it happening for a few models which I would take advantage if I were in the market each time.
        Greg
        • 1 Year Ago
        @ZOZ
        Another example is the 2008 Acura TL to the big beak nosed 2009 Acura TL or the 2006 Lincoln Navigator to the 2007 Lincoln Navigator. Those are 2 of the most recent step backs in design and ergonomics that I can think of off the top of my head.
        Donny Hoover
        • 1 Year Ago
        @ZOZ
        This. The end of the bugeye scoob, the 300 to the 350z, gen 2 MR2 to that stupid spyder. People aren't gonna like this one but the last gen viper was way better looking.
      getrickyj
      • 1 Year Ago
      People want design and reliability. The good news is in the last 10 or so years reliability has become a practical non issue with new cars. So design/ drive/ quality/ interior makes the sale.
      foxtrot685
      • 1 Year Ago
      This isn't new just as it isn't news. Do I think 79% of all car buyers won't wait for a new model a few months away because of a great deal? No, of course not, the number surveyed on AutoTrader does not represent the majority of car market (which makes the results appear inflated). However, there are many people who take advantage of end of model year, clear em out deals. Usually these people are the ones who just want a car, those who NEED a car right away, and those who purposely wait for good deals. This type of shopping has been around for decades, not new at all...
      Patrick
      • 1 Year Ago
      Why pay for a new car if you don't have to? Used is a smart move and most/average buyer is looking to save. And yes the study might be skewed. I am waiting for the TSX to be redesigned so I can grab the current model for cheap.
        libertedelacroix
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Patrick
        There are lot's of reasons to buy new. 1) You get the exact trim/color/options you want. 2) You have the knowledge of knowing that you are the first person to own it 3) You can't be 100% sure how the last owner treated the car. An example is my mom- she follows the dealer maintenance to a T. The problem is that the dealer says she needs an oil change every 10k miles, which is not enough.
          jtav2002
          • 1 Year Ago
          @libertedelacroix
          Meh, I have no fine following manufacturers specs as far as scheduled maintenance. Who am I to say I know more about the vehicle than they do. I don't own a vehicle that suggests them at 10k but if that's what they recommended I'd be fine with it. Let them fix it when it gets damaged by following their recommendations. 3k is overkill these days anyway 5-7k seems to be the norm at the least for the average car and thats not even counting things in like synthetics.
      56Jalopy
      • 1 Year Ago
      The cars from the 50's and 60's changed enough every year too make a difference, now it is hard to tell what year anything is so it doesn't matter anymore. Most people just want to get from a to b in a reliable appliance at the best price possible.
      mikeybyte1
      • 1 Year Ago
      All you need to do is look at the sales of the Toyota Corolla to see this study has some merit. That car is ancient. A 4 speed automatic?!?!? Yet it is still a huge seller - at or near the top of it's class. Trust me, design has nothing to do with it's success. It will be interesting to see what happens when the new model comes out. Will sales increase, stay the same, or drop?
      mdcwave
      • 1 Year Ago
      Who knew?
      jtav2002
      • 1 Year Ago
      The study also showed that 100% of the participants couldn't afford any version of the car and wouldn't be replacing their current vehicle anytime soon.
      jason32379
      • 1 Year Ago
      Gee, economy in the tank and incomes have been flat for decades now. Why would this surprise anyone? Only people who are too short-sighted/careless would choose a new and largely unproven design and/or follow the hype. If incomes had adjusted in-line with inflation and the cost of goods hadn't become so disproportionate, people could begin to apprecaite "design" or form over function once again.
      Jesus!
      • 1 Year Ago
      Sorry but I find their study irrelevant. You know what most people go on there for? To buy USED cars. So no, they do not care about the latest design because they are most likely not buying new anyways. I have sold two vehicles through their site and also searched for used. I do not see how they even thought this was a good idea.
        foxtrot685
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Jesus!
        And the people who use auto trader are usually bargain shopping anyway, because even for new cars they are looking for the best deal and advertised price they can find via AT. It's like taking a survey at the dollar tree and then reporting "BREAKING: Shoppers of the dollar tree don't really care about name brand items!!" Well, DUH!
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      Luke
      • 1 Year Ago
      Considering Fusion and Escape just had record months...I'm going to say they're surveying the wrong group.
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