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Study: Tech Playing Larger Role in Auto-Purchasing Decisions

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Nov. 17, 2014—AutoTrader.com released on Monday the findings of its 2014 In-Vehicle Technology Shopper Influence Study, which provides insight into how vehicle technology impacts consumer vehicle purchase decisions.

It was conducted online on its behalf by Harris Poll among 1,033 U.S. vehicle owners between Oct. 15 and 20.

"We live in a world now where nailing the basics—great ride and handling, reliability, compelling design—aren't enough to compensate for a lack of the latest safety and infotainment features," Michelle Krebs, AutoTrader.com senior analyst, said in a release. "The brands who can give consumers the technologies they want in a package that's cost effective and easy-to-use will be winners on sales day."

The study revealed that ease-of-use is a key deciding factor for car shoppers, with 48 percent saying they would walk away from a vehicle they liked if the technology was perceived to be too difficult to use. Nearly half of vehicle owners (48 percent) think it should take less than 15 minutes to figure out how to use all of the technology features in a new vehicle. Nearly 4 in 10 (38 percent) vehicle owners would like more time in the vehicle during a test drive to get an education on a vehicle's technology and safety features, and nearly three in ten would like to take the vehicle home overnight to test the features out on their own.

Other notable findings from the study include:

  • More than three-quarters of owners would prefer to have one in-vehicle tech feature that's easy to use instead of a difficult-to-understand system that has all the features they want.

  • 38 percent of vehicle owners would delay their next purchase by 6 months or more to get all of the in-car tech features they want.

  • 69 percent of vehicle owners would rather a vehicle have the technology features they want as opposed to being the color they want.

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