March 22, 2002

Reliability most important for CAA motorists

Ottawa, Ontario – Fifty percent of respondents to CAA’s 2001 Vehicle Ownership Survey said that reliability is the one factor that influences them most when choosing a vehicle. Performance
and handling, price and incentives followed closely behind with 35% and 34% respectively.

Female respondents tended to be more practical than men when it came to vehicle choice. They were more concerned with price, fuel economy, and safety features. Men were more concerned with comfort, interior space, styling and what features were standard on a vehicle. Men and women were equally concerned with performance and handling.

Toyota and Honda owners mentioned reliability as important more than owners of any other brands. Owners of BMW and Mercedes-Benz vehicles most frequently mentioned performance and handling.
Hyundai and Ford owners most frequently selected price and incentives as the driving force behind their vehicle purchases.

The CAA has identified some clear trends:

  • Consumers who are focused on comfort, interior space and price are drawn towards vehicles from the “Big Three” manufacturers (Ford, Chrysler and General Motors).

  • Those who are more concerned with reliability, resale value, and fuel economy are attracted to vehicles from Japanese-based manufacturers.
  • People who are more influenced by performance and handling, resale value, safety features, and styling, gravitate towards vehicles from European-based manufacturers.
  • Drivers who look more at price, fuel economy, cost of repair, and warranty coverage are choosing vehicles from Korean-based manufacturers.

“A vehicle is an expensive purchase and not one that should be entered into lightly”, says David Flewelling, CAA President. “When considering a vehicle purchase, consumers should do their research and narrow down their choices by checking reliability records, crashworthiness, fuel economy, maintenance and insurance costs. They should try the vehicle on much as they would a piece of clothing to ensure it fits their physical size requirements, their lifestyle, and their budget.”

CAA is a federation of 11 automobile clubs serving over four million members through 130 offices across Canada.

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