Automotive Reliability Survey: Consumers Not As Concerned About Innovation

Consumer Reports just released its 2017 New Car Reliability Results, a known standard for reliability in the automotive industry. One brand that didn’t fare especially well was Tesla, which is more known for being innovative. But is it possible for automotive brands to be both innovative and reliable? We asked 1,000 respondents about their opinions on different car brands and their thoughts on automotive reliability and innovation.

automotive reliability

Vehicle Consumers

In Ask Your Target Market’s latest survey, 71% of respondents said that they currently own or lease a vehicle. 7% have owned vehicles in the past. And 23% have never owned a vehicle. And looking forward, 53% of respondents said they are at least somewhat likely to buy a vehicle at some point in the future.

Automotive Reliability

Overall, 94% of vehicle consumers said that automotive reliability is at least somewhat important to them when considering a vehicle purchase. Automotive consumers named Toyota, Ford, Honda, Chevy, BMW and Nissan as some of the most reliable automotive brands.

In general, 45% of vehicle consumers said that price is the most important factor to them when considering a new vehicle purchase. 22% consider reliability to be most important. 20% care most about the type of vehicle. 8% care about the brand name. 3% care most about sustainability. 1% value luxury features. And less than 1% care most about innovation when considering new car purchases.

Automotive Innovation

Alternatively, just 71% of vehicle consumers said that innovation is at least somewhat important to them when considering a vehicle purchase. Consumers named Ford, Toyota, Honda, Tesla, BMW, Chevy, Lexus and Mercedes as some of the most innovative automotive brands.

Generally, 76% of overall consumers agreed that it’s possible for vehicles to be both innovative and reliable. But 27% think that it would be more difficult for innovative vehicle brands to also be reliable. And 29% said they would be less likely to trust reliability claims from innovative car brands.

Key Takeaways

It certainly seems that reliability is more important to car buyers than innovation. But most consumers do think it is possible to have both. It’s more likely, based on the innovative brands named by respondents, that consumers consider innovation to be more of a luxury while they consider reliability to be more of a must-have. So if vehicle brands show off innovative new features, it doesn’t necessarily mean that customers will see those brands as less reliable. But it could also be worth including reliability claims, especially third-party ratings that consumers already trust, in those marketing materials since the vast majority of consumers are not willing to forego reliability in favor of innovative or luxurious features.

You can view the complete survey results in the widget below and be sure to click “Open Full Report” to take advantage of all the chart and filter options.

Photo Credit: Tesla by Lummi Photography under CC BY-ND 2.0

What do you want to know? If you need some consumer insights on a particular topic, let us know in the comments below and we’ll consider it for an upcoming survey post.

Results were collected on October 27-31 via AYTM’s online survey panel.

Anne Pilon brings 3 years experience to AYTM as a blogger and journalist. She has a degree in journalism and marketing communications from Columbia College in Chicago and enjoys writing about business, marketing, social media, and art.