An analysis is made of the effects of size and weight reduction of 1977 General Motors standard size cars. A buyer profile describing demographic characteristics, age, sex, education, marital status, size of family and income by make is prepared for 1976 and 1977 General Motors standard size cars, and 1977 Ford Motor Company and Chrysler Corporation cars. The analysis focuses on testing whether significant differences exist between the average attitudinal, behavioral, and demographic profiles of two a priori defined groups - buyers of downsized and buyers of non-downsized cars. Multivariate analysis determined the variables that were the major discriminants. It is shown that attributes related to fuel economy are important discriminants distinguishing buyers of downsized standards from non-downsized standard size cars. Those who purchased the downsized cars did so with expectations (that were fulfilled) of better fuel economy, as well as increased maneuverability and ease of parking. They reinforced the pursuit of fuel economy by also choosing 6-cylinder engines and manual transmissions to a greater extent. Share of market, market composition, source of sales, and owner loyalty are discussed. It is concluded that the General Motors Corporation downsizing of its standard size cars was a significant fuel economy measure and a success in the market place as well.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Rogers National Research, Incorporated

    Sylvania, OH  United States 

    Transportation Systems Center

    55 Broadway, Kendall Square
    Cambridge, MA  United States  02142

    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Green, P E
    • Rogers, P W
  • Publication Date: 1978-9

Media Info

  • Pagination: 50 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00186159
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Technical Information Service
  • Report/Paper Numbers: DOT-TSC-NHTSA-78/38 Final Rpt.
  • Contract Numbers: DOT-TSC-1391
  • Files: NTIS, TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jan 13 1979 12:00AM