Fuel efficiency has increasingly become an important factor over the past few years when it comes to buying a new car. But it isn’t the only factor that matters as evidenced by a 7.5% decline in hybrid car sales in 2009 compared to 2008 when summer gas prices soared to $4/gallon. According to a new report by Accenture, American consumers are demanding more from their green cars than just good gas mileage; they want their green cars to wow them with electronics while delivering a superior driving experience.
Are you listening Detroit?
The study showed that six out of ten people would buy a hybrid only if it was superior to a non-hybrid in every way. The big trend these days seems to be fitting cars with computers and entertainment devices like Ford’s Sync system. It could explain why Ford’s hybrid sales were up almost 150% in December versus 2008.
Detroit has complained for years that they can’t make money on small cars, and the American consumer wants big cars and SUVs… and there is some truth to that. But as the 2011 Mustang V6 proves, you can have power, style, and fuel efficiency in the same car. Also, items like the Sync add to Ford’s bottom line. The Volt seems to embrace this philosophy as well, integrating a plug-in electric drive train with computer and nav systems inside. Even the Prius, with its hard-boiled egg looks, has an optional touch-screen nav system, 6-disc CD changer, etc. etc., and it is an absolute sales success.
Long story short; green cars need to keep getting better and prove themselves better in every way. On the bright side, 42% of respondents say they are likely to buy a hybrid or electric car in the next two years. That group would also include me.
Source: BusinessWire | Image: GM