Chicago—January 30, 2006—According to a recent Cars.com survey conducted to gauge the potential impact of General Motors' vehicle price cuts, more than 60 percent of car buyers say they believe the program will successfully entice consumers to purchase GM vehicles.
Despite favorable reaction to the program, overall success will be challenged by other vehicle manufacturers' responses to GM's price-cut program and how well the actual dollar value of the discounts is communicated to consumers.
"It's clear that the mere announcement of GM's price-cut program has caught the attention of consumers who are in the market to buy a car in 2006," said Joe Wiesenfelder, Cars.com's senior editor. "However, consumers are so used to incentive-based buying that the actual amount of savings will have to be clearly communicated for the program to have maximum success."
More than 33 percent of consumers surveyed said they will buy a car from a domestic manufacturer in 2006. Of that 33 percent, 31 percent say they will choose a GM car as a result of the price cuts and 60 percent said they will wait to see how deep the cuts are and what kind of response the plan will elicit from GM's competitors.
According to the survey, 24 percent of buyers are planning to buy a foreign car in 2006. GM's price-cut program is expected to have little impact on those consumers; just 12 percent of those buyers said they will consider buying a GM car as a result of the price-cut program. More than 44 percent of foreign-car buyers said they will buy the car they want regardless of any type of price-cut incentives.
The largest potential impact of GM's program is on consumers who have not decided whether they will buy a foreign or domestic car in 2006. Forty-three percent of consumers say they are undecided about the type of vehicle they will buy. More than 46 percent of the undecided segment say GM's price cuts will have an impact on their decision, with another 41 percent saying they will wait to see specifics on the cuts.
Incentive programs clearly have become a major part of the car-buying process. More than 85 percent of consumers say incentives have an impact on their buying decisions, with cash-back incentives being the most popular.
The Cars.com incentive survey was conducted online by Impulse Research Corp. using a random sample of 1,542 U.S. residents who plan to purchase a vehicle in 2006.
Partnered with more than 200 leading metro newspapers, television stations and their Web sites, Cars.com is the most comprehensive destination for those looking to buy or sell a new or used car. The site lists more than 1.4 million vehicles from 10,000 dealer customers, classified advertisers and private-parties to offer consumers the best selection of new and used cars online, as well as the content, tools and advice to support their shopping experience. Recently selected by Forbes.com as a Best of the Web site for car shopping, Cars.com combines powerful inventory search tools and new-car configuration with pricing information, photo galleries, buying guides, side-by-side comparison tools, original editorial content and reviews to help millions of car shoppers connect with sellers each month.
Launched in June 1998, Cars.com is a division of Classified Ventures, LLC, which is owned by six leading media companies including, Belo (NYSE: BLC), Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI), Knight Ridder (NYSE: KRI), The McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI), Tribune Company (NYSE: TRB) and The Washington Post Company. (NYSE: WPO).