PSYCHOLOGICAL AND SOCIOECONOMIC CORRELATES OF AUTOMOBILE SIZE

Since Americans use 25 percent of all energy consumed in the United States for automotive travel, a primary place to conserve energy appears to be through increased fuel efficiency of the automobile fleet. Achievement of national energy conservation goals through this approach depends on both advances in fuel economy technology and changes in consumer purchase patterns. Knowledge of which psychological and socioeconomic variables correlate with the purchase of fuel-efficient vehicles will make it possible to market vehicles that have optimal attribute mixes to the groups that will be most receptive to promotions for fuel-efficient vehicles. Information on psychological and socioeconomic correlates of automobile buying patterns can also be used to generate and assess forecasts of sales in response to motor vehicle options. This paper focuses on a select set of psychological and socioeconomic correlates of automobile size. Several interesting correlates of automobile size were found. Analysis of the relationship between consumer awareness of fuel-efficiency ratings and size of vehcile purchased reveals that buyers of small automobiles acquainted themselves with the fuel-efficiency ratings, but no evidence suggested that awareness of the ratings caused consumers to purchase fuel-efficient vehicles. Multivehicle households have a smaller average automobile size than single-vehicle households. If this relationship continues and the number of multiautomobile households increases, sales of small-sized automobiles can be expected to increase. Other size correlates were found with respect to consumer evaluation of the relative importance of vehicle attributes, household income, and region of the country. (Author)

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 7-11
  • Monograph Title: Travel behavior methodology
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00308560
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0309029732
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Apr 22 1980 12:00AM