All Your Customers Want for Christmas Is...a Heated Seat - AutoSuccessOnline
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All Your Customers Want for Christmas Is…a Heated Seat

As we close out this year, we hope you have a warm place to sit, a safe ride and a lovely tune to listen to!

I recently read a Forbes article by Senior Contributor Jim Gorzelany in which he writes about a study conducted by the marketing research company AutoPacific. Every year AutoPacific publishes a wide variety of studies on the automotive industry, and this particular study asked for the opinions of nearly 90,000 new-car buyers and lessees, 50,000 of which said they were planning to go vehicle shopping again in the not-too-distant future. 

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These buyers — and future shoppers — were asked which features interested them the most — and the least.

Notably, of all 10 driver assistance features (aka ADAS), demand is the highest for blind-spot information systems, followed by lane departure warning. While demand for other key ADAS systems was lower, the company said this could be attributed to the lack of consumer awareness of the benefits of these systems. “When consumers hear about a vehicle’s ability to stop itself automatically, they are often wary,” says Dan Hall, vice president of AutoPacific. “When they experience it saving them from committing a driving error, they clearly see the benefit.” 

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Another feature AutoPacific expects to continue to grow in demand is Apple CarPlay/Android Auto. Drivers and passengers can link their smartphone to the vehicle’s infotainment system to project things like navigation, messages and music/ podcast streaming. Demand will only increase as more and more consumers realize the many benefits and conveniences of tethering a smartphone directly to their vehicle.

Curious about the other top features buyers want the most in their next vehicles? Here are the top 10:
1. Heated seats: 66%
2. Blind-spot monitoring: 60%
3. Front and rear parking sensors: 55%
4. All-wheel or four-wheel drive: 54%
5. Lane-departure warning: 54%
6. Apple CarPlay and/or Android Auto: 53%
7. Power front passenger seat: 52%
8. LED accent lights: 52%
9. Ventilated or cooled seats: 50%
10. Memory driver’s seat: 49%

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And these are the amenities in which shoppers have the least interest:
1. Augmented reality head-up display: 14%
2. Electronic engine noise enhancement: 13%
3. Ability to purchase things from the vehicle infotainment system: 12%
4. Biometric features: 9%
5. Gesture controls: 9%
6. Concierge services: 7%
7. Fully autonomous, hands-free driving with no steering wheel: 7%

The survey resonated with me as something dealers would want to keep in mind when trying to sell the inventory you do have. Maybe in your winter advertisements you extol the feeling of getting into a cold car with a warm seat. Your social media posts could highlight the cool features that Apple CarPlay or Android Auto offer. Those are just a couple of quick thoughts, but this issue is full of innovative ideas on how to maximize your sales and advertising efforts in this unusual time.

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As we close out this year with this December issue, I hope you have a warm place to sit, a safe ride and a lovely tune to listen to!

Happy Holidays from all of us at AutoSuccess and Babcox Media! 

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