Study Asks: Do Consumers Care About Automotive-Related Green Issues? -
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Study Asks: Do Consumers Care About Automotive-Related Green Issues?

The study reviewed 1,100 consumer mentions on green automotive technology.

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TORONTO – A recent study from BrandIntel, a provider of market intelligence, found that consumers care about green issues when they align with their own economic interests. When it relates to the automotive industry, BrandIntel’s study showed the majority of consumer discussion focused on fuel and fuel economy as well as alternative technologies, such as hybrid vehicles.

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For the report, BrandIntel tracked more than 2 million raw search results on the Internet but refined those results through technological filters and human analysis. The study reviewed 1,100 consumer mentions on green automotive technology.

BrandIntel analyzed the most pertinent consumer-created content on the Internet to measure for assigned sentiment scores and share of discussion, rating the physical and emotional value of the results (positive or negative). The report, titled, "Managing Sustainability: Analyzing User Generated Content to Understand the Issue," looks at consumer discussions and sentiment scores around green automotive technology chatter and the issues in which these alternative technologies are discussed. Based on analysis of consumer-created content, the report captures data from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31, 2007.

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"Our research suggests that consumers are voicing concerns about green issues almost exclusively in the context of their personal economics — green is good, but it’s most potent when it aligns with the consumer’s wallet," said Alan Dean, vice president of research at BrandIntel.

"Consumers are also quick to see which auto manufacturers have credibility creating green vehicles and which manufacturers put in ‘just enough effort’ to appear green. Additionally, consumers have moved beyond the surface issues and are engaged in complex discussions about the lifetime environmental footprint of new technologies."

Among the report’s key findings:

— More than 80 percent of consumer discussions focused on fuel economy, indicating that consumers perceive the value proposition experienced with green auto technologies and indicates a willingness to consider more economic vehicle options.

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— Of the discussions focused on green IT issues, automakers not in support of new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards are viewed more negatively by consumers. For example, consumers questioned Toyota’s position in opposition to the new CAFE standards, as consumers have traditionally seen Toyota as a green company.

— While diesel technologies are making significant strides, consumers still use the word ‘hybrid’ three times more suggesting that consumers’ associations between ‘green’ and ‘hybrid’ are more prevalent than ‘green’ and ‘diesel.’

— Toyota, Honda, Mercedes and Volkswagen have green credibility due to their hybrid and diesel vehicle offerings. Conversely, discussion around GM, Chevrolet and Chrysler brands reveals that consumers do not perceive these manufacturers to have green credibility due to their large truck and SUV fleets, as well as weaker diesel/hybrid vehicle lineups.

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From aftermarketNews Staff & Wire Reports 

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