Research was undertaken to determine design engineers' driving habits and to obtain their opinions about passenger vehicles in general. The study specifically examines the following issues:
Current passenger vehicles driven and future selections
Importance of attributes and engineering features in future passenger vehicle selections
Opinions regarding safest passenger vehicles made
Subscribers views on dream cars, economy cars, value cars and luxury cars
Best engineered passenger vehicles in the U.S.
Improvement in quality/performance
Issues pertaining to safety, fuel efficiency and fuel alternatives
On May 6th, 1999, 2000 questionnaires were mailed to a random selection of Design News subscribers. A quarter and a postage-paid, self-addressed envelope were included with each questionnaire as a response incentive.
As of June 14th, a total of 506 completed surveys were returned, representing a response rate of 25%. A sample of the survey can be found in the Technical Appendices of this report.
Current Auto Trends - Make
Nearly 20% of Design News readers currently drive a passenger vehicle manufactured by Ford. The next most mentioned maker of passenger vehicles is Chevrolet. Twenty-one other vehicle makes were listed by 1% or fewer respondents. For a complete list, see table 1-1 in the appendices.
Q1.a What is the make and year of passenger vehicle you drive now?
Current Auto Trends - Model
The passenger vehicle model Ford Taurus/Taurus SHO is currently driven by 3% of those surveyed. In addition to the models listed below, several other models were listed by 1% or fewer respondents. For a complete list, see table 1-1 in the appendices.
Q1.a/b What is the make/model and year of the passenger vehicle you drive now?
Future Auto Trends
Twenty-eight percent of respondents would buy a GM passenger vehicle if they were buying today. Ford and Chrysler are the next most popular makes of passenger vehicles, with 17% and 16% of respondents respectively choosing them.
Q2. If you were to buy a new passenger vehicle today, what would you buy?
Importance of Attributes
Sixty-eight percent of respondents rate reliability as the first, second or third most important attribute for the next passenger vehicle they will purchase. Price and safety round out the 3 most important attributes. The least important attribute according to 52% of respondents is a sound system.