Hybrid Car Owners Educated, Wealthier, Older, More Creative, Less Dogmatic

March 12, 2008

This article is included in these additional categories:

Automotive | Household Income | Magazines | Women

Although many new-vehicle buyers may want to purchase an environmentally friendly vehicle, just 11% are “very willing” to pay more to do so, according to the J.D. Power and Associates “2008 Power Auto Offline Media Report – Spring Edition.”

Those who purchase hybrid vehicles tend to have much higher levels of education and report much higher household income; they are also about four years older than the average new vehicle buyer (54 vs. 50), the study found.

Hybrid owners tend to be proud advocates of their vehicles, and they typically provide many more positive recommendations about their ownership experience than do other new vehicle buyers, JD Power said.

Separately, a psychographic profile of hybrid-car owners, developed by Mindset Media, found that people who drive hybrid cars are 78% more likely than the general population to be highly creative – or “Creativity 5s,” in its parlance:


That is, they are inventive and imaginative and also tend to be emotionally sensitive and intellectually curious:


The “Mindset Profile” of hybrid car drivers, generated from a recent study conducted using the Nielsen Online panel, also found that hybrid drivers are far more likely to be more liberal than the general population – “Dogmatism 1s”

They tend to be more open-minded, more spontaneous, and more assured of their ability to lead others, the Mindset Media found.

According to JD Power, hybrid buyers and potential hybrid buyers tend to read magazines as such as The New Yorker, Sunset and Wired and are likely to watch cable television channels such as CNN and CNN Headline News.

Additional findings from the JD Power study:

  • New-vehicle buyers who express a strong willingness to pay more for environmentally friendly vehicles are more likely to be female. They are also highly educated.
  • The concentration of consumers who express willingness to pay extra for an environmentally friendly vehicle is highest in the western United States and lowest in the Midwest.
  • Among these environmentally conscious consumers, approximately one in 10 has actually purchased a new hybrid vehicle.
  • New-vehicle buyers who say they are very willing to pay more for a vehicle that is environmentally friendly are more likely to purchase compact vehicles than the average new vehicle buyer.
  • In addition, these environmentally conscious new-vehicle buyers tend to have owned smaller vehicles previously, demonstrating a propensity to consistently choose more fuel-efficient vehicle models.

“Despite heavy media attention on hybrid vehicles and the emergence of a greener auto industry, the hybrid market is still in its infancy, and currently comprises only about 2.2% of the new-vehicle market.” said Jon Osborn, research director at J.D. Power and Associates. “However, this segment will continue to grow as more hybrid models are offered in the marketplace, particularly since gasoline prices are likely to increase and more stringent gas mileage standards are expected to be imposed on automakers.”

About the studies: The “2008 Power Auto Offline Media Report – Spring Edition” is based on responses from 44,931 principal drivers of new cars and trucks. The study measures media viewing and readership habits of new-vehicle buyers, focusing primarily on magazine readership and also including television viewing, radio listening, internet usage and newspaper readership. The study also examines consumer opinions and attitudes regarding vehicle ownership.
Mindset Media uses its proprietary psychographic standard to enable brand advertisers to target millions of people with the personality traits that fit their brands in online media buys. The company works in partnership with Nielsen Online to develop the consumer profiles.

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