April 2, 2003

Survey shows 43% of car-buyers have delayed their decision

Rochester, New York – A U.S. survey of 1,058 adults by Harris Interactive, a worldwide market research and consulting firm, taken a few days after the war with Iraq began, reveals that among those who plan to acquire a new vehicle within the next year, many have already delayed their purchase or lease decision.

Those who recently planned to acquire a new vehicle, but held off, (43% of one-year purchase/lease intenders) cite the following reasons most frequently for delaying their decision: Just over half (53%) of them attribute the delay to their personal financial situation. For just over a quarter (26%), instability of the economy was a driver in their decision not to purchase or lease a new vehicle yet. Waiting for better incentives to be offered by vehicle manufacturers was a third reason cited (29%). The threat of war with Iraq was a factor for 4% of intenders who already delayed their purchase decision.

Although the war does not appear to have been a major factor in the delay of new vehicle acquisitions prior to its onset, now that the war has begun, nearly one-fifth (17%) of intenders anticipate that it will delay timing of their purchase or lease. Nonetheless, a majority (82%) of those who intend to acquire a vehicle in the next year expect that the war with Iraq will not impact the timing of their next vehicle acquisition.

These are some of the results of a nationwide survey conducted online by Harris Interactive with a sample of 1,058 adults who own and purchased or leased a new vehicle in the last four years or who said they intend to purchase or lease a new vehicle in the next year. Of this sample, 541 respondents said they intend to acquire a new vehicle in the next year and 282 said they have already delayed acquisition of a new vehicle recently. The survey was fielded between March 21 and 26, 2003.

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