CHARLOTTE, N.C. - May 1, 2013 // PRNewswire // - A new consumer survey released by MAACO®¹, part of the Driven Brands family of automotive brands, reveals a sentiment contrary to the perception of our throwaway culture: American's don't have to, but want to, keep their cars longer...as long as they can get a little MAACOVER™.
America has always been "car country," and the newest, latest and greatest autos forever seem to generate buzz and move units. But is this perception only skin deep? Digging a bit further, MAACO found that 65 percent of Americans had a favorite car, and while close to 50 percent didn't have it anymore, 75 percent wished they could have it back. According to the survey, our memories of good times in those beloved vehicles have not faded over time. From one respondent who fondly remembered his BMW as an "awesome Chick-gitter [sic]. Got my wife with it!" to the owner of the sports car remembered as the "fastest darn thing on the road," that was "great for hiway [sic] driving" and "clocked at a legit 150 mph by Montana State Police," people relished the chance to tell MAACO about the romance they once had with their favorite ride.
"We believe in potential, and that newer is not necessarily better," says Chris Furse , Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer, MAACO. "We were gratified to find out that a lot of people agree with us that the best rides are sometimes the ones you already have, and those cars are worth keeping and maintaining."
The survey also revealed several additional takeaways:
I've Got the Blues, and Couldn't Feel Better!: Maybe it's time to rethink the connection between malaise and the color "blue." Of the respondents describing themselves as having "Happy" dispositions, 23 percent wish they had a blue car. Only 13 percent actually own a blue car, with most shiny happy people pushing shiny happy gray/silver whips.
You're So Vain: More men (74 percent) than women (59 percent) say their car reflects their sense of style or their personality.
Coast-to-Coast: The West Coast may be perceived as the more "shallow" and materialistic coast, but more people in the Northeast (37 percent) think their car reflects their sense of style than those in the West (28 percent).
Red State , Blue State: Oddly enough, when asked what color car they wished they had, the highest percentage of Conservatives (26 percent) preferred a blue car, while 19 percent of Liberals preferred a red car. (We assume Conservatives are comfortable driving blue cars in red states and that Liberals are comfortable driving red cars in blue states. We didn't ask.)
Keep on Running: The average age of the American car is 11 years, but according to our survey, almost 50 percent of respondents planned to drive their current cars into the ground, and will likely keep their car "as long as it keeps running." In addition, 56 percent said that they planned on keeping their current car longer than they kept their last car.
It's Not the Economy, Stupid: Oddly enough, people were evenly split when asked if the current economy was forcing them to hold onto their vehicle longer, with 44 percent responding "yes" and 45 responding "no."
You're Needed in Makeup: Even more telling, 75 percent of respondents said they would likely keep their car longer if they could give it a "makeover" (body work and paint). This seems to gain support from the findings of a recently-released AAA survey which implied that the improvement in car quality lets people keep cars longer. Given that, a MAACOVER™ helps keep both the emotional and economic investment strong.
The Thrill Is Gone (But Not for Good): Of those who said they didn't like or "hated" their car, 58 percent said it was because it needed body work or paint or because they hated the color.
Pretty in Pink (If You Can Find It!): Almost no respondents wish they had a pink car, except for a few outliers (3 percent) on the West Coast. Surprising? Maybe, but just know the market exists – small though it may be! No respondents owned pink cars, it is worth noting.
Motor Memories: Finally, MAACO couldn't let people go without asking about the most memorable experience they ever had in their car. While some said it was bringing their child home from the hospital (10%), taking their car to college (7%) or having their first date or driving it on their honeymoon (7%), there were a few rather more "interesting" responses, and certainly a 'theme' emerged: "Don't care to kiss and tell" and "I could, but I don't think that the statute of limitations has expired yet," are the ones fit to print. But there were some other great moments as well including: "It was the car I rode home in after my tour in Iraq was over." "All of my major road trips with my future wife were in this car" and "Driving a stick for the first time was memorable. It made me feel like a race car driver."
¹The survey was conducted by Impulse Research for MAACO during the week of April 1, 2013.
Founded in 1972, MAACO® Collision Repair & Auto Painting (www.maaco.com) repairs accident damage, dents and faded paint for close to 500,000 drivers annually. The 450 franchises have restored the safety and beauty of all types of vehicles for nearly 40 years. MAACO Franchising, Inc., headquartered in Charlotte, NC, has been cited numerous times by Entrepreneur magazine as #1 in its category in the Annual Franchise 500 survey.
Driven Brands, (www.drivenbrands.com) headquartered in Charlotte, NC, serves as parent company for the separate businesses: MAACO® (a franchise-based collision repair and auto painting retail network) Meineke Car Care Centers® (a franchise-based automotive service and repair retail network); Econo Lube & Tune (a franchised chain of automotive repair/quick lube services); a franchised network of mobile services consisting of AutoQua\®, Aero-Colours® & Drive N Style® (specializing in automotive interior reconditioning and maintenance, paint refinishing and restyling services for Car Dealerships) and Tortal.net (developer of on-line training solutions for a variety of industries). Management team members serve on the industry association boards, the IFA and AAIA.