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Report: In-car technology important to buyers

Michael Martinez
The Detroit News

Customers are increasingly picking what cars or trucks they buy based on its in-vehicle technology, according to a new J.D. Power report released Thursday.

The 2015 U.S. Automotive Media and Marketing Report surveyed more than 28,000 drivers and found 43 percent of premium brand customers and 28 percent of non-premium brand buyers cite their vehicle’s latest technology as one of the reasons they bought it. Among premium brands, Lincoln, Infiniti, Cadillac and Audi lead the way in tech features, while Mazda, Buick and Chrysler are the top tech-savvy non-premium brands.

Those buyers also spend more time on tablets and smartphones outside the car than buyers who don’t value in-car technology, the study found.

"It’s important that auto manufacturers promote the technological virtues of their vehicles to consumers via the media they consume," Arianne Walker, senior director, automotive media & marketing at J.D. Power, said in a statement. "Targeting these technology seekers with the right messaging is critical to using marketing dollars efficiently to reach consumers who will actually buy new vehicles because of new technology."

Other findings from the report include:

■ Drivers who cite advanced technology as a purchase reason spend an average of 33 hours a week watching television and list "The Walking Dead," "The Big Bang Theory" and "The Voice" among their favorite shows.

■ Technology-seeking drivers read an average of nine magazines, with high rates of reading magazines focused on wealth, science/technology and travel.

■ Magazine readership has increased year over year, as new-vehicle buyers read an average of eight magazines in 2015 vs. seven in 2014.

■ Nearly 70 percent of new-vehicle drivers access social media websites or apps. Facebook is the most popular social media site accessed by new-vehicle drivers, followed by LinkedIn and Pinterest.

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