A new survey by Consumer Reports found that 48 percent of consumers said they will continue to wait before making their next vehicle purchase. That’s not surprising considering the dismal slump in new car sales in recent months.
What is surprising is the number of people who said they are delaying their car purchase to wait for fuel-saving technologies like hybrids to become more affordable. Nearly one in five—or 18 percent—are holding out for an affordable hybrid.
The other chief reasons consumers are waiting, according to the survey:
- Current vehicle is in good shape (39 percent)
- Concern over the weak economy (30 percent)
- Vehicles, in general, are too expensive (30 percent)
- Interest rates on auto financing are too high (18 percent)
Which brands will consumers look for to deliver those affordable green cars? Twice as many car-shoppers associate Toyota with being environmentally friendly as second-ranked Honda. Consumer Reports explained, “That image is probably due to Toyota’s role as a pioneer in hybrid technology and its strong-selling Prius hybrid.” The Prius is the most popular hybrid on the market.
Rounding out the top five brands viewed by consumers as green are Ford, Chevrolet and GMC—all are brands that offer hybrids.