According to the latest Kelley Blue Book Market Intelligence Study, since the end of the CARS 2009 program (commonly referred to as ‘Cash for Clunkers’), in-market car shoppers are once again delaying the purchase of a new vehicle.  However, the price consumers are considering paying for a new car has significantly increased in the month since the CARS 2009 program ended.

In September 2009, 50 percent of in-market car shoppers said they would delay the purchase of a new vehicle, up from 41 percent in July 2009.  In addition, consumers indicated that they were less likely to change their purchase timeframe due to incentives, rebates and special financing offers.  In September 2009, 63 percent said the availability of incentives has not affected their timing plans at all, up 10 points from consumers who said the same in August 2009.

However, in the past month alone, what shoppers said they would pay for their next new car increased $1,671.  

“With the ongoing economic recession and the Cash for Clunkers stimulus program over, the latest Kelley Blue Book Market Intelligence data shows that availability of incentives and rebates is no longer enough to persuade car shoppers to deviate from their intended purchase timeframe,” said James Bell, executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book’s kbb.com.  “Although shoppers say they are delaying their purchase timeframe, at least when they do hit the dealerships they’ll be willing to stretch their wallets a bit further and spend more, resulting in a higher dealer and manufacturer profits.”

In another survey – a May 2009 quick-poll on kbb.com – 55 percent of car shoppers said they would be more likely to consider buying a hybrid if they could get a carpool-lane sticker.

The latest Kelley Blue Book Market Intelligence study was fielded to 553 in-market car shoppers on Kelley Blue Book’s kbb.com from September 18-28, 2009, all of whom indicated they currently own a vehicle and intend to purchase or lease a new or used vehicle within the next 12 months.

Another automotive research firm, CNW Marketing Research, revealed additional car-buying habits of U.S. consumers. Its September 24 Retail Automotive Summary reported that 17 percent of Cash for Clunkers buyers were having remorse due to their new need to shell out car payments, as opposed to the standard 8 percent of U.S. new car buyers. Additionally, during the first 16 days of September, according to CNW, dealers were forced to add 50 percent more of their own money to close deals. CNW’s Retail Automotive Summary is published monthly.

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