Car Time – April 2023


Various Reasons Why People Drive Certain Vehicles

    Often people see a vehicle as an extension of themselves with a special meaning to them.
    For others, the purchase or lease of a vehicle is a practical decision, considering it an appliance which serves a purpose.
    Consumers compare brands and options to see what suits them best. Automotive journalism offers help with various statistics, such as price, fuel economy, features, interior and exterior space and reliability.
    People with an emotional investment to a brand are often enticed to become repeat customers. Most car makers spend a lot of money in marketing and vehicle development on entry models for this reason.
    An example is marketing to a college student or graduate who wants to purchase a reasonably priced new vehicle. A starter-package model is typically on this buyer’s radar.
    Manufacturers might over-build their base models in hopes to imbed its value and create loyalty. When the time comes to upgrade, buyers may reflect on how well the old vehicle served them and remain loyal customers.
    This thought process goes across the board. Wanting to trade-in a sedan for an SUV, buyers might begin looking at the same brand before checking elsewhere. The same is true when upgrading to a more premium product. The brand’s luxury counterpart may be considered first. This type of strategy builds generational relationships. Some may remember how their parents or relatives held onto a certain vehicle for a long time or have fond memories tied to one.
    The over-engineered era of vehicles was made famous by Japanese manufacturers in the late 20th century; during a time when emissions, fuel economy, reliability and price were highlighted as a result of the oil crisis in the 1970s.
    In the 1990s, this reputation evolved when the Lexus LS400 and Acura NSX, made by Toyota and Honda respectively, sought the luxury and super car-buying sector with the same philosophy – pushing the status quo limits.
    Some may be fascinated by a brand’s history or racing pedigree, especially if they are a winning manufacturer. It is advertised as a way of owning a piece of the winning team. This could translate to something as simple as the badge or trickled-down engineering and feel – found in a car tracing its roots to racing.
    Sometimes the look of a vehicle is a draw, much like an attraction to clothing or jewelry in the fashion industry. Others may gravitate to how a car feels when driving or how it is technologically advanced.
    There are many factors as to why people choose to drive what they do. Often it is a combination of these elements and more.

Xavier Estrada can be reached at

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