The recession has not only hit the home, it has hit the garage.
A new study by DriverSide.com and Kelton Research indicates more than four out of every five U.S. car owners now plan to keep their current car longer than originally planned, due to the bad economic climate.
Eight-two percent say they intend to do so, according to the survey of vehicle owners age 18 and over.
The study claims to be the first to quantify such consumer sentiments.
“In a downturn economy, consumers focus automobile-related efforts on maintaining vehicles, minimizing operational expenses and preserving the vehicle's overall value,” says Thilo Koslowski, vice president at Gartner Inc., a research firm.
“This creates an opportunity for automotive aftermarket companies and service providers targeting consumers' vehicle ownership needs,” he says.
“The two to three year ownership cycle is dead,” says Trevor Traina, founder and chairman of DriverSide, a website on vehicle ownership. “While it may be hard for drivers to find the money to spend on an oil change or 100,000 mile service, people should remember that a few hundred dollars in proactive maintenance now will save a few thousand dollars in repairs down the road.
“The good news is that today's cars can last a long time if cared for properly.”
While new-car sales are down drastically and used-car values have dropped, industry players are learning how to adapt by focusing more on the cars already on the road.
“If people keep their autos longer, there is business to be had,” says Jad Dunning, co-founder and CEO of DriverSide.