Monday, December 13, 2010

Foolish Reasons for Choosing Your Next Car

JD Power just came out with the results of their annual survey, “2010 Customer Retention Study”. This measures the likelihood that those driving a particular make car will buy another of the same make. I like this study because it sorts through all the many, many reasons people may consider and gives us the bottom line. Obviously, having a high probability of repeating with the same car manufacturer is very important to the success of that manufacturer.

The manufacturers with the highest probability of owners making their next purchase another of the same make are Ford and Honda. Sixty-two percent of Ford and Honda drivers will buy another. On the bottom of the list is SAAB with only “four percent” willing to buy another SAAB. The industry average is forty-eight percent.

Just below Ford and Honda on the top of the list are Toyota, Lexus, and Hyundai with sixty percent. And just above SAAB on the bottom of the list are Jaguar, Dodge, and Chrysler with sixteen, twenty-two, and twenty-four percent respectively. There’s only one GM make above the average and that’s Chevrolet with fifty-two percent.

There’s a second part to this survey that shocks me and those are the specific reasons most people have for choosing which make they buy and why they stay with that make or buy a different one.

There are nine reasons people buy a particular make and do or do not repeat with that make. The number one and two reasons are “seating arrangements” and “look/style”! In the lower half of reasons are “quality”, “fuel economy”, and “resale value”! It’s hard for me to understand why somebody would make the second largest investment of his life based on “looks/style” over safety, quality, fuel economy and resale value. But it’s true and the JD Power Company is a highly reliable and accurate surveyor.

Don’t be an average car buyer and make your purchase based largely on the color or the styling of the car. People who purchase cars for frivolous reasons probably haven’t done their homework and don’t know the important facts about the make they have decided upon. They also are inclined to buy a car too fast, based on only emotion. This means they usually overpay for the car. There’s no one a car dealer likes more than someone who “falls in love” with that shiny red convertible on the showroom floor and wants to drive it home ‘today’! There is no excuse for this especially in today’s “Age of Information”. With just a few clicks of your mouse you can access everything you could possibly want to know about every make of car sold in the USA.

The top reasons that you should consider when buying another car are quality, safety, reliability, resale value, and fuel economy. You can compare all makes of cars in all of these categories just by clicking on (Kelly Blue Book) or You can also find this information in Consumer Reports magazine on online at

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