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1999 auto survey

1999 auto survey

Research Objectives:

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.

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