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As Vehicle Reliability Improves, Shoppers Consider More Models.

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Jan. 17, 2013—As both consumer perceptions of reliability and actual vehicle dependability improve, customers are exploring more vehicle models before making their final decision to buy, according to a J.D. Power & Associates report.

The study found that with the rise in vehicle reliability, new shoppers now consider 3.3 vehicles in 2013, up from 3.1 in 2012 and 2.9 in 2010.

Similarly, 17 percent of shoppers in 2013 avoid a car due to its reputation for reliability, in comparison to 19 percent in 2012 and 21 percent in 2009

"Improved actual and perceived reliability has leveled the playing field, allowing many manufacturers to be considered among new-vehicle shoppers that may not have been considered in the past," Jon Osborn, research director at J.D. Power & Associates, said in a statement. "Factors, such as gas mileage, styling and comfort, play an important role in the decision-making process. The study findings suggest that marketing a brand image is just as important as building reliable vehicles."

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