September 15, 2006

Japanese car-buyers show strong interest in safety, environmental and fuel economy technologies

Tokyo, Japan – Japanese consumers have a strong interest in automotive safety, environment and fuel economy-related technologies, even after learning their estimated market prices, according to a study by J.D. Power Asia Pacific.

Now in its fourth year, the Japan Automotive Emerging Technologies Study measures consumer familiarity, interest and purchase intention for more than 45 automotive emerging technologies within the Japanese market. The technologies include gasoline/electric hybrid powertrains, clean diesel engines, drive recorders, and digital terrestrial TV tuners.

Among the 13 technologies that draw above-average levels of consumer interest, both before and after market prices are revealed, the four with the highest purchase intentions are front side-impact airbags, multi-stage airbags, gasoline/electric hybrid powertrains, and high intensity discharge (HID) headlights.

Nearly 70 per cent of consumers expressed a strong interest in multi-stage airbags for their next vehicle, despite being relatively unfamiliar with the feature. Even after the estimated price was revealed, 64 per cent said they would purchase the airbags in their next vehicle.

The study found that nearly 60 per cent of consumers currently own a navigation system, and more than 80 per cent intend to purchase the technology in their next vehicle. Although more consumers currently own DVD-based navigation systems, hard-disc drive (HDD) navigation systems may become increasingly popular in the future, as a higher percentage of consumers intend to purchase HDD over DVD systems for their next vehicle.

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