Auto Consumers Value Low Retail Prices Over IncentivesPoll

Posted on by Chief Marketer Staff

Everyday-low-prices on automobiles overwhelm other vehicle incentives, including zero-percent financing, employee discounts for everyone and cash-back rebates, according to a recent Maritz poll.

The Maritz Automotive Research Group poll found that consumers preferred lower retail prices over other consumer incentives, in many instances by a two-to-one margin.

Automakers broke records this summer offering employee-discount incentive programs to consumers, but saw sales dramatically decline in the aftermath of the incentive offerings (PROMO P&I Oct. 26).

According to the survey, 57% of consumers said they preferred a lower retail price versus 43% who sought zero-percent financing as an incentive. Lower retail auto prices beat out three-year gas price guarantees 64% to 36%, respectively, the survey found.

Among other findings:

  • Sixty-nine percent of respondents said they opted for lower retail prices compared to 31% who favored cash back rebates.
  • Sixty-nine percent of consumers said they preferred everyday lower vehicle prices compared to 31% of respondents who preferred employee discount incentives
  • Seventy-four percent of consumers polled said they preferred a lower retail price compared to 26% who seek out a “no haggle” price.

“This survey indicates that the manufacturers offering one low price are right on target,” said David Enring, director of research and development for Maritz’ Automotive Research Group, in a statement. “The trick here is that consumers are used to looking for that incentive, so it’s the responsibility of the manufacturers to educate consumers with regard to the fact that the low ‘value’ price is on par with or better than the price they would have paid during the time when higher prices were discounted by incentives.”

Maritz Automotive Research Group surveyed 1,009 adult owners and drivers of vehicles from Aug. 29-31.

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