Environmentally Friendly Vehicles Take a Back Seat

fuhummer.jpgBrain dead consumers are still ignoring the impact of purchasing vehicles with low eco-scores even with the price of gas moving past the $4 per gallon mark in some metro areas. A low number of new car buyers are willing to pay the upfront cost of an “environmentally friendly” vehicle, according to a J.D. Power & Associates survey.

“The marketing buzz in the automotive industry is all about green cars and trucks,” said Jon Osborn, director of research at J.D. Power and Associates. “While most consumers immediately think of hybrids when considering an environmentally friendly vehicle, the price premium of hybrids may be prohibitive.” While many new car shopper have an interest in purchasing an environmentally friendly auto, only 11 percent are “very willing” to spend more to do it, Osborn said.

In a recent edition of the Power Auto Media Report they discovered that new car shoppers that were willing to pay more for an environmentally friendly auto are more likely to be female, and are highly educated. Not exactly the demographic you might find at your local Hummer Dealership! In addition, the study noted that one in ten of the eco-conscious car shoppers have previously purchased a hybrid vehicle. Additionally, the owners of hybrid vehicles have a higher household income on average, the study found.

The Nationwide survey found that the concentration of consumers willing to pay extra for environmentally friendly alternative products is largest on the West Coast of the United States, and the smallest is in the Midwest. Coincidently, the largest Hummer Dealership can be found in St. Louis, Missouri.

The J.D. Power study also reports that new car shoppers who say they are willing to pay more for an auto that is eco-friendly are also more likely to choose a smaller compact auto than the average auto shopper. The environmentally conscious buyer also has a history of owning smaller vehicles previously.

“However, consumers don’t have to buy a hybrid vehicle to be environmentally friendly. One can still be environmentally conscious by buying a more fuel-efficient vehicle that gets good gas mileage,” Osborn said. “Despite heavy media attention on hybrid vehicles and the emergence of a greener auto industry, the hybrid market is still in its infancy, and currently comprises only about 2.2 percent of the new-vehicle market,” Osborn says. “However, this segment will continue to grow as more hybrid models are offered in the marketplace, particularly since gasoline prices are likely to increase and more stringent gas mileage standards are expected to be imposed on automakers.”

Hybrid vs. Hummer Video