It's a common question these days: can you live with a tiny car? For a growing number of people, the answer is yes, but they're not always ready to make the lifestyle adjustments to get the benefits of lower gas usage (and cost) of using the right tool for the job. According to an Omnibus Study recently conducted by Morpace, Inc., a full 62 percent of consumers think their next vehicle will be smaller than what they're currently driving. Morpace Automotive Feature Content Practice VP Bill Pendry said, "While consumers may want a smaller, more fuel efficient vehicle, they don't want to compromise on the feature and option content. Nearly all consumers want the same or greater number of features and options in their next vehicle."

Well, then, perhaps people aren't really clear on their reasons for downsizing. As we know, the current situation is that most (though certainly not all) small cars are pretty bare bones when compared to larger versions. A smaller car has at least one reduced feature: less room. While I can certainly understand the lack of enthusiasm for losing something like airbags, letting go of heavy and space-consuming things like DVD players and a third row of seats is OK. Realizing that it is perfectly possible to live a full life with fewer features/things is something quite vital to adapting to our new global reality, I think. See more on this topic here and check out the Morpace press release after the jump.

[Source: Morpace Inc.]



PRESS RELEASE:

Morpace Reports Consumers Want Smaller or More Fuel Efficient Vehicles With No Sacrifice in Features

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich., Aug. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- A majority of consumers (62 percent) expect their next vehicle to be smaller or more fuel efficient compared to the vehicle they currently drive. Based on results from the Morpace Inc. Omnibus Study fielded in July 2008. Bill Pendry, Vice President, Morpace Automotive Feature Content Practice said, "While consumers may want a smaller, more fuel efficient vehicle, they don't want to compromise on the feature and option content." He added, "Nearly all consumers want the same or greater number of features and options in their next vehicle."

When acquiring a smaller, more fuel efficient vehicle, the desire to have more, fewer, or the same number of features and options depends heavily on the feature content of the consumer's current vehicle. Among owners of high series, well-equipped vehicles, nearly three-quarters expect to maintain the same number of features and options, 18 percent want more, and 9 percent want fewer. Two thirds of consumers owning mid-series, medium-equipped vehicles want to maintain the same number of features and options, 29 percent want more, and only 4 percent want fewer. And among low series, least-equipped vehicle owners, half want the same number of features and options and about half want more.

"That consumers are looking for better fuel efficiency today is not surprising," Pendry said. "That they are unlikely to give up the features they currently have and may want even more features and options has strong implications for automotive manufacturers and dealers."

About Morpace Inc.

Morpace is a full-service survey research and consulting organization specializing in automotive, financial services, health care, retail and technology. Morpace has global expertise in providing innovative proprietary solutions to clients in four core areas: market definition and segmentation; product development and pricing; brand and image positioning; and customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Established in 1941, Morpace Inc., an ISO 9001:2000 certified organization, is one of the largest privately held marketing research firms in the United States. Headquartered in Farmington Hills, Michigan the company has offices in Irvine, California; New York City; and London, England.

Visit www.morpace.com for more information.


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