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Car Batteries - US - September 2010

This report explores the vehicle battery market in the U.S. It provides insight into the external and internal factors affecting car and truck battery sales, consumption and consumer trends, in addition to what they mean for future sales, promotional campaigns and industry innovations. Specific questions that are answered in this report include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • How involved are consumers in charging the battery of their vehicle?
  • Where do consumers purchase vehicle batteries?
  • What compels consumers to purchase vehicle batteries—do they wait until the last possible moment or are they more preventative and purchase early?
  • What companies manufacture vehicle batteries and what retailer partnerships result in exclusive, store-only brands?
  • How are lithium-ion batteries emerging to possibly threaten lead-based batteries and how are consumer fears regarding electric cars affecting that growth?
  • What type of vehicle battery are consumers purchasing the most? The least?
  • What brand of vehicle battery are consumers purchasing the most? The least?
  • What media or other influencers are factors in consumer purchasing of vehicle batteries?
  • What companies are innovating their segments, and how can others learn from their success?

This report provides an in-depth examination of the vehicle battery market for industry retailers, distributors and marketers interested in pursuing opportunities to innovate trends within segments and to evaluate the competition. Consumer analysis and segment discussion covers both lead-based and lithium-ion batteries.

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data sources
          • Market and company data
            • Consumer survey data
              • Advertising creative
                • Abbreviations and terms
                  • Abbreviations
                    • Terms
                    • Executive Summary

                      • Consumers are only purchasing car batteries when absolutely necessary
                        • Consumers choose brands only by what they already have under the hood
                          • Most consumers are not even aware of what brand battery they own
                            • Creating insignia outside vehicle may help
                              • DieHard and Duralast represent the most popular brands
                                • Preventative maintenance messages may increase battery charging
                                  • Consumers who do charge battery do so at home
                                    • Men are purchasing vehicle batteries more than women
                                      • Middle-aged, middle-income respondents purchasing most batteries
                                        • Most consumers are purchasing at auto parts retailers
                                          • Lead-acid battery powers majority of vehicles on road
                                            • Companies investing in lithium-ion technology for hybrids, electric plug-ins
                                              • Electric plug-in growth will benefit lithium-ion market
                                              • Insights and Opportunities

                                                • Companies can develop recycling market for lithium-ion battery
                                                    • Figure 1: Recycling rates of selected products, 2008
                                                  • Messages selling lithium-ion power can address “range anxiety”
                                                    • Auto shops can offer free battery charging to create loyalty
                                                    • Inspire Insights

                                                        • Trend: Green Technology
                                                          • As consumers seek green, companies transition to accommodate
                                                            • Battery companies need to flaunt green-minded evolution of lead batteries
                                                              • Battery’s hidden value under the hood needs to be shown front and center
                                                                • Battery companies can embrace recycling message to assuage consumer fears
                                                                • Market Drivers

                                                                  • Lead production for batteries relies primarily on increase in scrap market
                                                                    • Figure 2: U.S. annual lead production, imports and exports and consumption, by metric tons, 2000-08
                                                                  • Nation’s electrical grid currently insufficient to support expected EV boom
                                                                    • $2.4 billion in stimulus funds awarded to accelerate battery development
                                                                      • Chinese auto industry expects to produce 500,000 electric cars by 2011
                                                                      • Lead-Acid Batteries

                                                                        • Key points
                                                                          • Lead-acid most traditional battery, offers range of affordability, safety
                                                                            • Nearly 40% of respondents do not know what type of battery they have
                                                                                • Figure 3: Type of vehicle batteries consumers have installed in their vehicles, by gender, June 2010
                                                                              • Youngest respondents least aware of battery type installed
                                                                                • Figure 4: Type of vehicle batteries consumers have installed in their vehicles, by age, June 2010
                                                                              • Least-earning households least aware of what battery they have installed
                                                                                • Figure 5: Type of vehicle batteries consumers have installed in their vehicles, by household income, June 2010
                                                                            • Lithium-Ion Batteries

                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                • Lithium-ion batteries responsible for coming surge of electric cars
                                                                                  • High cost puts lithium-ion batteries at disadvantage
                                                                                    • Global hybrid market predicted to grow to 11.28 million vehicles by 2020
                                                                                        • Figure 6: U.S. hybrids new vehicle market share, 2005-09
                                                                                    • Battery Brands Consumers Last Purchased

                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                        • 40% of respondents are not aware of the brand of battery last purchased
                                                                                            • Figure 7: Vehicle battery brand consumers last purchased, by gender, June 2010
                                                                                          • Respondents aged 18-24 most likely to know what brand battery they have
                                                                                              • Figure 8: Vehicle battery brand consumers last purchased, by age, June 2010
                                                                                          • Leading Companies

                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                              • U.S. battery market controlled by handful of players
                                                                                                • Johnson Controls Inc.
                                                                                                  • Figure 9: Johnson Controls, Inc. annual net sales of battery division, 2006-09
                                                                                                • JCI creates private-label batteries through exclusive partnerships with leading retailers
                                                                                                  • Partnerships to deliver lithium-ion batteries
                                                                                                    • East Penn Manufacturing Co., Inc.
                                                                                                      • Company investing in developing advancements in lead-acid batteries
                                                                                                        • East Penn set to exclusively produce Duracell vehicle batteries
                                                                                                          • Exide Technologies
                                                                                                              • Figure 10: Exide Technologies’ annual net sales, 2006-09
                                                                                                            • Exide creates private-label brands for NASCAR, NAPA
                                                                                                              • A123 Systems Inc.
                                                                                                                • Figure 11: A123 Systems’ annual net sales, 2006-09
                                                                                                              • Partnerships with automakers boost lithium-ion production
                                                                                                              • Brand Qualities

                                                                                                                • Nissan Leaf, Chevrolet Volt to test viability of lithium-ion integration
                                                                                                                  • Easing “range anxiety”
                                                                                                                  • Innovation and Innovators

                                                                                                                    • Innovation driven by automakers:
                                                                                                                      • Mercedes uses lithium-ion battery to reshape luxury message
                                                                                                                        • Conventional batteries could restore hope in hybrids
                                                                                                                          • Nissan targets rental car market by offering lithium-ion Leaf for fleets
                                                                                                                            • Innovation driven by suppliers:
                                                                                                                              • DuPont's Energain fueling further advances in lithium technology
                                                                                                                              • Marketing Strategies

                                                                                                                                • Overview
                                                                                                                                  • Digital media
                                                                                                                                    • Optima embraces digital media through social network outreach
                                                                                                                                      • Traditional media
                                                                                                                                        • Fear factor: Negative emotions a key ingredient in marketing car batteries
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 12: Duralast Batteries, TV ad, 2010
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 13: Interstate Batteries, TV ad, 2010
                                                                                                                                        • DieHard accentuates reliability and performance in grueling torture test
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 14: DieHard Platinum Batteries, TV ad, 2010
                                                                                                                                        • Clubs, sweepstakes, sponsorships directly target automotive enthusiasts
                                                                                                                                          • Membership clubs
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 15: Optima Power Pack, web ad, 2010
                                                                                                                                          • Sweepstakes
                                                                                                                                            • Auto Racing Sponsorships
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 16: Optima/Bass Pro Shops, online ad, 2010
                                                                                                                                            • How Frequently Consumers Charge Vehicle Batteries

                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                • A third of respondents never charge their vehicle battery
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 17: Frequency of charging vehicle battery, by gender, June 2010
                                                                                                                                                  • Younger consumers more involved in charging batteries than older
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 18: Frequency of charging vehicle battery, by age, June 2010
                                                                                                                                                  • Where Vehicle Batteries are Charged

                                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                                      • Half of respondents who charge car batteries do so at home
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 19: Where consumers charge vehicle batteries, by gender, June 2010
                                                                                                                                                      • Middle-aged respondents most likely to charge batteries at home
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 20: Where consumers charge vehicle batteries, by age, June 2010
                                                                                                                                                      • Charging at independent shops appeals to households earning $75K-99.9K
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 21: Where consumers charge vehicle batteries, by household income, June 2010
                                                                                                                                                    • Who Purchases Vehicle Batteries

                                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                                        • Men more invested in purchasing vehicle batteries than women
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 22: Vehicle battery purchasing, by gender, age, household income, and race/Hispanic origin, June 2010
                                                                                                                                                        • Source of Last Vehicle Battery

                                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                                            • Majority of vehicle batteries purchased at franchise auto parts retailers
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 23: Source of last vehicle battery, by gender, June 2010
                                                                                                                                                            • Those aged 45-54 most likely to purchase from auto parts store
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 24: Source of last vehicle battery, by age, June 2010
                                                                                                                                                            • The most affluent households purchasing from dealerships
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 25: Source of last vehicle battery, by household income, June 2010
                                                                                                                                                          • Reasons for Buying Vehicle Batteries

                                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                                              • Car batteries mostly purchased when absolutely necessary
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 26: Reasons for buying vehicle batteries, by gender, June 2010
                                                                                                                                                              • Those aged 18-24 most likely to buy due to mistakenly draining old battery
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 27: Reasons for buying vehicle batteries, by age, June 2010
                                                                                                                                                              • Preventative maintenance highest among highest-earning households
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 28: Reasons for buying vehicle batteries, by household income, June 2010
                                                                                                                                                            • What Influences Vehicle Battery Purchase

                                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                • Routine makes consumers stick with replacing battery with same brand
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 29: What influences vehicle battery purchase, by gender, June 2010
                                                                                                                                                                • Younger respondents impacted more by online media
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 30: What influences vehicle battery purchase, by age, June 2010
                                                                                                                                                                • As household income increases, consumers may be open to brand variety
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 31: What influences vehicle battery purchase, by household income, June 2010
                                                                                                                                                                • Impact of Race and Hispanic Origin

                                                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                    • Asian respondents most conscientious about annual battery charging
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 32: Frequency of charging vehicle battery, by race/Hispanic origin, June 2010
                                                                                                                                                                    • Self-charging at home most preferred by white respondents
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 33: Where consumers charge vehicle batteries, by race/Hispanic origin, September 2010
                                                                                                                                                                    • Hispanics purchasing most at auto shops, blacks most at auto parts stores
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 34: Where consumers purchase vehicle batteries, by race/Hispanic origin, June 2010
                                                                                                                                                                    • Hispanics most likely to purchase based on advice of mechanic
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 35: What influences vehicle battery purchase, by race/Hispanic origin, June 2010
                                                                                                                                                                  • Cluster Analysis

                                                                                                                                                                      • Cluster 1: Naturally weak, but not dead
                                                                                                                                                                        • Demographics
                                                                                                                                                                          • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                            • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                                                              • Cluster 2: Maintenance-free ‘til death do us part
                                                                                                                                                                                • Demographics
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Cluster 3: Fatally unaware
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Demographics
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Characteristic tables
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 36: Car or truck battery clusters, June 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 37: Frequency of charging vehicle battery, by car or truck battery clusters, June 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 38: Type of vehicle batteries consumers have installed in their vehicles, by car or truck battery clusters, June 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 39: Source of last vehicle battery, by car or truck battery clusters, June 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 40: Reasons for buying vehicle battery, by car or truck battery clusters, June 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Demographic tables:
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 41: Car or truck battery clusters, by gender, June 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 42: Car or truck battery clusters, by age, June 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 43: Car or truck battery clusters, by household income, June 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 44: Car or truck battery clusters, by race, June 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 45: Car or truck battery clusters, by Hispanic origin, June 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Cluster methodology
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix: Other Useful Consumer Tables

                                                                                                                                                                                                • Frequency of charging vehicle battery and household income
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 46: Frequency of charging vehicle battery, by household income, June 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Reason for buying batteries by race and Hispanic origin
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 47: Reasons for buying vehicle batteries, by race/Hispanic origin, June 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Battery brands last purchased and household income
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 48: Vehicle battery brand last purchased, by household income, June 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix: Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                                                                                Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                                • Advance Auto Parts Inc
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Alfa Romeo
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Alliance Of Automobile Manufacturers, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG)
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Automotive Oil Change Association (AOCA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Automotive Trade Association Executives (ATAE)
                                                                                                                                                                                                • AutoZone, Inc
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Bass Pro Shops, Inc
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Battery Council International (BCI)
                                                                                                                                                                                                • BMW of North America, LLC
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Chrysler LLC
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Connected Vehicle Trade Association (CVA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Costco Wholesale Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                • CSK Auto Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Daimler AG
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Delphi Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Duracell
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Energizer Holdings, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Enterprise Rent-A-Car Company
                                                                                                                                                                                                • ESPN, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Facebook, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Ford Motor Company (USA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                • General Motors Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Honda Motor Co., Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Intel Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Jaguar Cars North America
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Johnson Controls, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                • JPMorgan Chase & Co
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Kmart Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Land Rover North America, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Mazda North American Operations
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Mercedes-Benz USA
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                • MySpace.com
                                                                                                                                                                                                • National Alliance for Advanced Transportation Batteries (NAATBatt)
                                                                                                                                                                                                • National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR)
                                                                                                                                                                                                • National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                • National Independent Automobile Dealership Association (NIADA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                • NEC Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Nissan North America, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                • O'Reilly Automotive, Inc
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Palo Alto Software Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Porsche Cars North America, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Portable Rechargeable Battery Association (PRBA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Renault S.A.
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Reuters Group PLC
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Robert Bosch GmbH
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Saab Cars North America
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Sanyo North America Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation [SAIC]
                                                                                                                                                                                                • The Pep Boys - Manny, Moe & Jack
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Tire Industry Association
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Toyota Motor Corporation USA
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Twitter, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Walmart Stores (USA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                • YouTube, Inc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Car Batteries - US - September 2010

                                                                                                                                                                                                £3,174.67 (Excl.Tax)