“Consumers have varying perceptions across car types – with SUVs and sedans being the most positively viewed. Moving forward, automakers and retailers will want to provide consumers options of car types and focus on communicating the benefits of each. As price remains a top consideration factor, ongoing economic uncertainties and inventory disruptions may impact the car types consumers consider.”
– Gabe Sanchez, Automotive Analyst

This Report looks at the following areas

  • Important factors when choosing a car type
  • Consumers’ perceptions of varying car types
  • Most popular car types amongst consumers
  • Attitudes toward electric vehicles and autonomous vehicles

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • This Report looks at the following areas
        • Definition
          • Market context
            • COVID-19: US context
              • Economic and other assumptions
              • Executive Summary

                  • Top takeaways
                    • Market overview
                      • Figure 1: Total US unit sales of new vehicles, by type, 2016-21
                      • Figure 2: Automotive industry outlook, 2022-27
                    • Opportunities and challenges
                      • Educate consumers on lifetime ownership on electric vehicles
                        • Promote safety for all; improve vehicle crash testing for men and women
                          • Chip shortage disrupts inventories and availability; drives consumers to keep vehicles longer
                            • Price of car types creates potential barriers for consumers
                              • Key consumer insights
                                • Price is most important to consumers when choosing a car type; physical attributes also take priority
                                  • Consumers indicate a need for further education
                                    • Majority of consumers consider SUVs, but there is still interest in variety
                                      • Consumers are interested in the rise of electric vehicles
                                        • There’s room to grow interest in autonomous vehicles
                                        • Market Size

                                          • Inventory, supply issues and economic influences led to depressed sales
                                            • Figure 3: Total US unit sales of new vehicles, by type, 2016-21
                                          • Hybrids and electric vehicles witness increasing adoption
                                            • Figure 4: Total US unit sales of hybrid /electric vehicles, by type, 2016-21
                                        • Market Factors

                                          • Consumer confidence and unemployment drive consumers to be more critical of their spending
                                            • Figure 5: Consumer Sentiment Index and Unemployment, 2000-21
                                          • New and used vehicle prices present a barrier for consumers
                                            • Figure 6: Consumer Price Index, new vehicles and used vehicles, 2018-21
                                          • Gas prices influence consumers’ car type decisions
                                            • Figure 7: US gasoline and diesel retail prices, 2010-21
                                          • Build Back Better Act; Biden introduces tax credit for electric vehicles
                                          • Competitive Strategies and Market Opportunities

                                            • Automakers build on existing models; drive interest of “non-traditional” electric vehicles
                                              • Figure 8: Ford highlights the capabilities of all-electric pickup
                                            • Tesla leverages partnerships to extend reach
                                              • Figure 9: Tesla partners with Radio Flyer to create Cyberquad for kids
                                            • Sony looks to enter the automotive space
                                              • Figure 10: Sony CES 2022 vehicle unveiling post
                                            • Toyota commits to new car types
                                              • Automakers reduce sedan offerings, crowd crossover market
                                              • The Car Consumer – Fast Facts

                                                • Decision Makers and Purchase Intent

                                                  • Consumers’ approach to car buying varies
                                                    • Figure 11: Decision makers, 2021
                                                    • Figure 12: Decision makers, by gender and generation, 2021
                                                  • Most consumers intend on purchasing a vehicle within the next three years
                                                    • Figure 13: Purchase intent, by generation, 2021
                                                • Factors in Choosing Car Types

                                                  • Consumers take into account multiple factors when evaluating car types
                                                    • Figure 14: Volvo reaches consumers through Fotografiska museum exhibit
                                                    • Figure 15: Purchasing factors, 2021
                                                  • Older generations consider more factors
                                                      • Figure 16: Purchasing factors, by generation, 2021
                                                    • Factors and experience draw differences amongst races
                                                      • Figure 17: Nissan celebrates Black History Month
                                                      • Figure 18: Purchasing factors, by race and Hispanic origin, 2021
                                                    • More money, more factors
                                                      • Figure 19: Purchasing factors, by household income, 2021
                                                    • Consumers’ work lifestyles drive different considerations
                                                      • Figure 20: Purchasing factors, by employment and work from home status, 2021
                                                  • Understanding Car Type Perceptions

                                                    • Perceptions of car types vary; SUVs and sedans viewed most positively
                                                        • Figure 21: Car type perceptions, 2021
                                                        • Figure 22: Correspondence Analysis – Symmetrical map – Car type perceptions, 2021
                                                      • Gen Z consumers indicate their inexperience
                                                        • Figure 23: Perceptions of car types – high quality, by generation, 2021
                                                        • Figure 24: Perceptions of car types – affordable, by generation, 2021
                                                      • Safety and maintenance represent an opportunity to attract women
                                                        • Figure 25: Perceptions of car types – safe, by gender, 2021
                                                        • Figure 26: Perceptions of car types – low maintenance, by gender, 2021
                                                      • Environmental friendliness could be a differentiator for parents looking for vehicles that fit their lifestyle
                                                        • Figure 27: Perceptions of car types – environmentally friendly, by parental status, 2021
                                                      • When it comes to lifestyle, Black and Hispanic consumers are more likely to choose expensive car types
                                                        • Figure 28: Perceptions of car types – fits my lifestyle, race and Hispanic origin, 2021
                                                    • Consideration of Car Types

                                                      • SUVs and sedans are the most popular amongst consumers planning to buy a vehicle
                                                        • Figure 29: Consideration of car types, 2021
                                                      • Women demonstrate interest in SUVs, sedans, and crossovers
                                                        • Figure 30: Consideration of car types, by gender, 2021
                                                      • Younger consumers show interest in hybrids/electric vehicles, sports cars, coupes and convertibles
                                                        • Figure 31: Kia highlights the feeling of driving its vehicles
                                                        • Figure 32: Consideration of car types, by generation, 2021
                                                      • Aspirational desires drive car type consideration
                                                        • Figure 33: Consideration of car types, by household income, 2021
                                                    • Attitudes toward Electric Vehicles

                                                      • Consumers look forward to the rise of electric vehicles
                                                        • Figure 34: Attitudes toward electric vehicles, 2021
                                                      • Millennials lead the charge when it comes to electric vehicles, followed by Gen Z
                                                        • Figure 35: Attitudes toward electric vehicles, by generation, 2021
                                                      • Parents are prime targets for electric vehicles
                                                        • Figure 36: Tesla and Radio Flyer collaborate to reach kids
                                                        • Figure 37: SEA Electric converts school buses to 100% electric
                                                        • Figure 38: Attitudes toward electric vehicles, by parental status, 2021
                                                    • Attitudes toward Autonomous Vehicles

                                                      • Millennial consumers are quick to trust autonomous vehicles
                                                        • Figure 39: Attitudes toward autonomy, by generation, 2021
                                                      • Opportunity to drive autonomy appeals across living areas
                                                        • Figure 40: Attitudes toward autonomy, by area, 2021
                                                    • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                      • Data sources
                                                        • Sales data
                                                          • Consumer survey data
                                                            • Consumer qualitative research
                                                              • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                • Abbreviations

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