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Consumers Still Reluctant To Buy New Cars

TUSTIN, Calif. (April 20, 2009) — A just completed national internet survey shows a marked increase in consumers’ unwillingness to consider purchasing a new car. Beginning in September 2008 AutoPacific, a Tustin, Calif.-based automotive market research firm, looked to its internet consumer panel to gauge the likelihood of consumers to purchase or lease a new (not used) vehicle in the next 24 months. The most recent survey shows those who definitely/probably will not buy has increased from 22% in September, 2008, to 38% in March, 2009 to 42% in April. This trend is reinforced by the survey’s definitely/probably will buy numbers which have decreased from 53% last September, to 37% last month to 35% in April 2009. Over 1,100 persons responded per survey.
“In early 2008 the US auto industry was hobbled by high gasoline prices, while consumer confidence was beginning its own collapse. Then, just as gas prices declined, the financial crisis hit, and vehicle sales fell even lower,” says George Peterson, president of AutoPacific. “A key component of AutoPacific’s sales forecasting practice includes monitoring consumer intentions on a regular basis. One might think that the government’s stimulus expenditures, warranty guarantees for GM and Chrysler vehicles, or the rising stock market would have turned consumer sentiment around. But this survey shows that hasn’t happened, at least not yet.”

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