Duh: J.D. Power finds strong loyalty among truck buyers

The full-size truck market is going through many changes of late. New trucks introduced by GM and soon Toyota will each have a significant impact on where truck buyers spend their money in the future. What makes the full size truck buyer tick? A study released by J.D. Power might just have the answers.

Domestic truck buyers seem to have the strongest reason for buying a domestic truck. A full 48% of those surveyed stated that they wouldn't buy an import specifically because they do not want an import-branded truck. Import truck buyers feel strongly to the contrary, but only 33% stated that they would avoid a domestic for the same reason.

Some other concerns stated by the domestic truck buyers group were that they just did not like the look or design of the imports (33%) and that they didn't believe that an import-branded truck would be rugged enough (20%). Conversely, an extremely small number of them (5%) stated reliability as a concern with an import, where reliability of a domestic branded truck was very high on the list of the import truck buyer at 25%.

Full-size truck drivers are a very dedicated and brand-loyal bunch. They're savvy consumers whose opinions are often overlooked by know-it-all marketers. This survey clearly shows the strong perceptions of the group and should be given the weight it deserves by all manufacturers, domestic and import.

Read the press release after the jump.

[Source: Automotive Digest via J.D Power]

J.D. Power and Associates Reports:Brand Origin Continues to Play a Critical Role in Vehicle Consideration by Large Pickup Truck Buyers Vehicle Styling is the Top Reason Consumers Avoid Consideration of Some Models

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.: 30 November 2006 - Although the large pickup truck segment encompasses both domestic and import brands, vehicle brand origin continues to be a top reason new-vehicle buyers avoid certain large truck models, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2006 Avoider StudySM released today.The study, which examines the reasons consumers fail to consider particular models when shopping for a new vehicle, finds that nearly one-half (48%) of buyers of domestic-branded large pickup trucks avoid import models within the segment because they specifically do not want an import-branded truck. Conversely, 33 percent of import buyers report the same with regard to domestic large pickups. Domestic-branded truck buyers also report avoiding large pickup trucks from import brands primarily because they did not like the look or design (33%), and also believed the pickup was not rugged enough (20%). However, very few buyers of domestic large pickup trucks question the reliability of the two import brands, with only 5 percent avoiding models for this reason. Conversely, reliability is one of the top reasons import large pickup buyers avoid a domestic brand, with 25 percent avoiding domestic models based on reliability concerns.

The perception of poor reliability as a reason for avoidance can also have a long-term impact on a brand or model. For example, buyers may avoid a brand or model today due to reliability issues that occurred several years ago. "With the fully redesigned Toyota Tundra, Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra being launched for the 2007 model year, the large pickup truck segment is steadily being refreshed and diversified," said Steve Witten, executive director of marketing research at J.D. Power and Associates. "Making updates and improvements to vehicles can be critical in addressing buyer concerns, especially among buyers who shy away from models because of styling or reliability based on brand origin perceptions. These enhancements can go a long way toward improving buyer confidence and changing opinions." The study also finds that across all vehicle segments, styling continues to be the top reason buyers avoid considering some models, with nearly 50 percent of all avoiders indicating that the look/design of the model was a reason for avoidance. Styling typically determines the buyer's first impression of a model, and if a buyer dislikes the styling, they generally will not pursue that model any further. Vehicle styling, reliability and high cost, respectively, represent the top three product reasons for avoidance.

The 2006 Avoider Study is based on responses from more than 39,000 owners who registered a new vehicle in May 2006.About J.D. Power and AssociatesHeadquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is an ISO 9001-registered global marketing information services firm operating in key business sectors including market research, forecasting, consulting, training and customer satisfaction. The firm's quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.About The McGraw-Hill CompaniesFounded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP) is a leading global information services provider meeting worldwide needs in the financial services, education and business information markets through leading brands including Standard & Poor's, McGraw-Hill Education, BusinessWeek and J.D. Power and Associates. The Corporation has more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Sales in 2005 were $6.0 billion.

Additional information is available at www.mcgraw-hill.com.

Media Relations Contacts:John TewsDirector, Media RelationsJ.D. Power and Associates5435 Corporate Drive, Suite 300Troy, MI, 48098(248) 312-4119, or cell (248) 321-5109john.tews@jdpa.com

Syvetril Perryman Media RelationsJ.D. Power and Associates2625 Townsgate Road, Suite 100Westlake Village, CA 91361(805) 418-8103syvetril.perryman@jdpa.com

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