More Consumers in Japan Are Considering Eco-Cars for Next Vehicle, J.D. Power Study Finds

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Older Generations Want Safety Features, Technology in Their Next Car

TOKYO: 14 Sept. 2016 — Shoppers in Japan are giving eco-cars more than a passing glance as they consider their next vehicle, according to the J.D. Power 2016 Japan New-Vehicle Intender StudySM (NVIS), released today.

Among consumers who expect to purchase a new or used vehicle within the next year, an increasing percentage say they are considering an eco-car. For example, 53% of shoppers say they are considering a hybrid vehicle, up from 48% in 2015. Additionally, 12% of shoppers are considering an electric vehicle (EV), up from 9%, and 7% are considering a fuel cell vehicle (FCV), up from 5%. The percentage of shoppers considering a gasoline (65%) and diesel (19%) vehicle remains unchanged.

“The three major points for car model selection are the exterior design, price and fuel efficiency,” said Koichi Urayama, director of the automotive division at J.D. Power, Tokyo. “Recent fuel consumption fraud problems, on the negative side, and product diversification for eco-cars, on the positive side, likely are contributing to growing consumer interest in eco-friendly cars. In addition, manufacturers are also helping with their messaging around their vehicles, which is helping build awareness.”

The study, now in its second year, examines consumer perceptions of vehicles and the purchase behaviors among consumers who intend to purchase a new or used vehicle within the next 12 months. The study also measures purchase decision factors when considering a vehicle for purchase, brand recognition, favorability and impression, and consumer interest in new technologies. 

Other key findings of the study include: 

  • How Many Brand to Choose? More than half (55%) of consumers consider an average of 2.5 vehicle brands for their next vehicle purchase. Consumers who are most likely to purchase a mass market brand consider an average of 2 brands, while those who are most likely to purchase a luxury brand consider 3 brands.
  • More Interest in Safety by Older Generations: Fifteen percent of men older than 60 years and 18% of women older than 50 years say that safety is the most important factor when selecting a new car, while only 7% of men and 10% of women in their 20s and 30s say the same. Furthermore, the same trends are found in the level of interest in new or advanced safety technology. For example, 58% of men and 56% of women older than 60 years are interested in having a collision mitigation system in their next vehicle, but only 33% of men and 37% of women in their 20s are interested in this technology. Similarly, 52% of men and 54% of women older than 60 years have an interest in emergency assist for pedal misapplication, compared with only 32% of men and 37% of women in their 20s. 
  • Information Sources on Vehicles Vary: The sources consumers use to learn about the models they are most likely to choose varies between men and women. A brand’s official website is the most often used source among men (14%), followed by news/ information (14%). Women most frequently turn to advertisement/article in newspaper/magazine/TV/radio programs (16%) and car seen on the road/parked (14%).  
  • Website Info Viewing Varies by Consumer Age: The study finds that the information consumers view on a manufacturer’s website varies by the consumer’s age. Consumers who are 40 years or older most frequently cite viewing “vehicle price” or “vehicle specifications.” Consumers in their 20s and 30s most frequently cite “after-sales services”; “campaigns/ special events”; “reserve a test drive”; or “search for a dealership location.”

The 2016 Japan New-Vehicle Intender Study is based on 10,000 responses. The online survey was conducted from late June through mid-July 2016.

Media Relations Contacts

Shizue Hidaka; J.D. Power; Tokyo; 81-3-4550-8060; shizue.hidaka@jdpower.co.jp

John Tews; J.D. Power; Troy, Michigan, USA; 001-248-680-6218; john.tews@jdpa.com

About J.D. Power in the Asia Pacific Region 

J.D. Power has offices in Tokyo, Singapore, Beijing, Shanghai, Malaysia and Bangkok that conduct customer satisfaction research and provide consulting services in the automotive, information technology and finance industries in the Asia Pacific region. Together, the six offices bring the language of customer satisfaction to consumers and businesses in Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. Information regarding J.D. Power and its products can be accessed through the Internet at japan.jdpower.com.

About J.D. Power and Advertising/Promotional Rules www.jdpower.com/about-us/press-release-info

Media Contacts

Tokyo, Japan
+81-3-4570-8400
Troy, Michigan
(248) 680-6218