The company that sells V8 Mustang muscle cars by the boatload says that a significant number of new car buyers regret not opting for a more efficient vehicle, even if many of them have little idea how to make their cars use less juice.
Ford Asia Pacific commissioned a buyer survey* of 9500 people across 11 markets — including Australia — and found that buyers here rank fuel efficiency as their top priority when purchasing a new vehicle.
Additionally, it found that four out of five Australian consumers rate fuel economy over power when choosing a new car.
When asked the reasons for prioritising fuel efficiency, four out of five respondents from Australia cited the need to save money — nearly 13 per cent higher than the Asia Pacific regional average of 68 percent.
Other top reasons included concern about high fuel prices (64 per cent) and an interest in being more environmentally friendly (44 per cent). Fuel efficiency is such a significant factor that 29 per cent of drivers who currently own a powerful car say that they regret not purchasing a more fuel-efficient vehicle.
In line with the findings, Ford says that more than 34 per cent of consumers are planning on driving less over the next 12 months, and 22 per cent say that they will change their driving habits to use less fuel.
This all coincides with a general wariness about Australian fuel prices. More than three quarters (78 per cent) of respondents say they don’t trust fuel prices to stay stable over the next year, which is 30 per cent more than the Asia Pacific average.
While fuel-efficiency is a priority, this desire is countered by the fact that Australian motorists place high value of performance. More than half (53 per cent) of all respondents say they consider power as a major factor when buying a new car.
City residents disproportionately said that they were motivated by performance when compared to suburban residents (58 per cent versus 51 per cent). This is where downsized turbo-petrol engines such as Ford’s EcoBoost range come in.
“We conducted this survey to get a better understanding of what drivers know about fuel economy and how they choose their vehicle,” said Graeme Whickman.
“The results show there is quite a lot of confusion amongst Australians’ about what constitutes fuel efficient driving,” he added, with the company backing this with the following statistics.
The survey revealed that:
*The online survey was conducted by GlobalWebIndex on behalf of Ford Motor Company. Fieldwork was concluded in June 2016.
9509 consumers were surveyed across 11 markets: Australia (1026), China (1011), Hong Kong (784), India (1023), Malaysia (786), New Zealand (774), Philippines (783), South Korea (760), Taiwan (762), Thailand (1026) and Vietnam (774).