European Drivers Think Hybrids Are a Good Idea

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The following came from a Automotive News Europe and Maritz Research survey of European car buyers:
* Real-world experience helps convince drivers that hybrids are a good
idea. Citing a previous survey of 308 drivers conducted for Toyota, Maritz said the percentage of drivers that said hybrids offered "driving pleasure" increased to 57 from 16 after they test-drove a hybrid. Similar improvements after driving were recorded for "real breakthrough innovation" (72 percent from 48 percent) and high performance (47 percent from 13 percent).
* Dealers see Toyota as the clear leader in alternative-powertrain technology. Asked to rank brands, 52 percent of dealers named the Japanese carmaker first and 71 percent put it in the top three. No other brand was ranked first by more than 7 percent of dealers. Honda, the only other brand currently selling a hybrid in Europe, got 24 percent ranking it in the top three.
Ed
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wrote:

Your Subject line reminds me of headlines in newspapers that draw a conclusion from spurious data in the article. Just because people in a survey say they offered "driving pleasure" doesn't mean they think they're a good idea, since they're not purchasing the vehicle, but only test driving it.
The REAL conclusion should be based on the sales data of such autos.
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On Mon, 16 Apr 2007 05:37:04 -0700, Larry Bud wrote:

We just test drove two toyota Hybrids and found that they offered nothing except additional cost and insignificant gas savings except under certain exacting conditions. The additional $5K cost would not have been saved over several years of fill-ups based on our driving practices.
I ended up purchasing a 4Runner V6 Limited and find it much more comfortable than the hybrids we drove.
--
Leythos
snipped-for-privacy@rrohio.com (remove 999 for proper email address)
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For certain buyers of certain products, the purchase is not based on anything logical. It's all emotion. Sounds like that's what the survey was designed to measure (or guess at). In sales training, it's called "Sell the sizzle, not the steak".
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JoeSpareBedroom wrote:

Same is true for most sports cars.
Graham
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It's mostly emotional for most cars.
Jeff

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Or economical.
Cathy
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wrote:

Or practicality....like my '92 Corolla Wagon...
--

Scott in Florida




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How so? Do you really think people buy economy cars for emotional reasons? Wait, judging by the ads I've seen, I think I see your point. While you don't choose to purchase an economy car for emotional reasons (usually) people can and do choose which economy car to buy based on looks, image, and other emotional reasons. Judging again by the commercials, I'd say the majority of people base their car-buying decisions on those things. If that's what you mean, then I can see your point.
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Yes, because if they ran the numbers, the savings in gas is greatly offset by the additional cost of the vehicle. They're only fooling themselves.
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Economy cars are usually cheaper than all other classes, so they would save money on the cost of the vehicle in addition to saving at the pump. Note I said *economy* cars there, not *hybrid* cars.
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I suppose you are right. However, I know two people who own hybrids - one is a confirmed Toyota lover, and the other is a confirmed domestic lover - both love their Priuses (what is the proper plural for Prius?). My SO has driven one and she wishes she had bought one instead of the RAV4 she did buy. Maybe hybrids are not all they are cracked up to be, but does it matter? Prius sales are one of the main reasons Toyota sales were up so much in the US this past March. Clearly people want to believe hybrids offer an answer to try to have a decent size vehicle and good gas mileage.
Ed
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Precisely, the only true test of what buyers prefer to buy are the sales figures. You car bet the average buyer would believe the FWD V6 Lexus is more of a "driving pleasure" than a similar Camry. The same would be true of a V6 Camry over a 4cy Camry. The Camry buyers buy more than twice as many 4cy than V6 Camrys.
Price is always the determining factor in a buyer decision. Ask any salesman and he will tell you the most often asked question before a buyers signs on the bottom line is, 'How much is my monthly payment?' ;)
mike

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Larry Bud wrote:

That would make sense if such cars were readily available in enough numbers to make a difference. Until then.....
Graham
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Apparently you didn't read the whole paragraph. Please note:
--quote from article-- Similar improvements after driving were recorded for "real breakthrough innovation" (72 percent from 48 percent) -- end quote --
"Real breakthrough innovation" basically means "good idea." So, the headline was correct on that point.

No, the headline doesn't say "European drivers likely to buy hybrid automobiles" as you are implying. It says they think hybrids are a good idea, and the data backs it up.
I will go so far in your favor to say that while the headline would be technically correct if you could only find two European drivers who thought hybrids are a good idea, it sort of gives the impression that most European drivers do, which is a *huge* leap of faith based on a poll sample size of 308 out of dozens if not hundreds of millions, especially since it was conducted by an automaker that has invested heavily in the production of hybrids!!
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The headline itself implies that Europeans are ready to bust out their wallet and buy hybrids, all concluded from a few test drives.
I'm sure if you let them all drive Ferrari's they would think they're a good idea too.
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The implication of the headline (in this case) is what you tell yourself it means, rather than what it actually says. To go from "European Drivers Think Hybrids Are a Good Idea" to "Europeans are ready to bust out their wallet and buy hybrids" is a leap that that you made. The headline doesn't imply that at all.

No, they'll think Ferraris are fun to drive. Ferraris aren't based on any unique idea like hybrids are.
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wrote:

Even if the survey agreed with the market, i.e., 79% (or whatever) like them and 79% actually buy them, it still would be meaningless for the US market. European - mostly short drives over very congested roads (including the 'freeways) by people who are accustomed to what we would call 'downsized' products and high cost fuel.
The hybrids are, and will remain, a very small niche market in the US until they match in size and performance at least the midsized cars, SUVs, etc. That won't happen. The only way they will become a significant market share is for gas to get up to very, very high price.
Harry K
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Toyota sold more Hybrid Cars (Prius + Camry +Lexus Hybrid) in the first 3 months of 2007 than Ford sold Fusions. In fact Toyota sold as many Priuses as Ford sold Fusions - and Ford claims Fusions are selling really well. So it seems to me Hybrids are already a significant market force. In the first 3 months of 2007, 1,861,459 cars (cars only, light trucks are not included) were sold in the US. Approximately 58,932 of these were hybrid cars (again, light trucks are not included). Therefore hybrids represented around 3% of the car market. However, the share of the car market is rapidly increasing and all of the increase is coming from Japanese cars. Ford or GM would kill to gain 1% of market share. Toyota is getting it and a lot of it comes from selling hybrids. The 39,682 Priuses Toyota sold so far in 2007 represent 2% of the US car market. Don't you think Ford wishes they had those sales?
I agree that for many people hybrids offer no real advantage and in fact may actually be more expensive to own and maintain. However, this is not stopping people from buying them. The same sort of herd mentality that got people buying Japanese cars in the first place is now leading people to buy hybrids. So, once again, domestic manufacturers aren't getting it. No matter how good a product you build, if it isn't what people want, you won't sell it. Building the best SUV in 2010 might be a recipe for bankruptcy.
Ed
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