ATLANTA — Tax time means big refunds for some, and the availability of these extra funds often results in a boost for automotive shopping behavior in March and April. The average tax refund in 2011 was $2,913—enough to put a 10 percent down payment on a new car worth almost $30,000. According to a new survey conducted by AutoTrader.com, 56 percent of respondents are expecting a substantial refund in 2012. Additionally, the survey indicated that a substantial proportion of car shoppers have a desire to keep the money they spend on a car in the domestic economy; 39 percent said it was very important to buy a car that is actually built in the U.S., and 23 percent that said it is very important that the car be from a domestic automaker.
This attitude was supported by respondents’ further selections when asked about what types of vehicles they are considering. Seventy-four percent of shoppers said they would consider buying a vehicle that was made by a domestic manufacturer and built in the U.S. Additionally, 67 percent said they would consider a vehicle made by a foreign manufacturer if it was actually built in the U.S.
“With the great strides made by the domestic manufacturers in the last three years, it is no wonder that consumers are open to cars coming from the Big Three,” said Rick Wainschel, vice president of automotive insights at AutoTrader.com. “Domestic manufacturing of new cars creates jobs in the U.S., so this interest is a great sign that the American economy could see a big boost from people spending their tax refunds on GM, Chrysler Group, and Ford models.”
With shoppers’ interest in buying domestic, the experts at AutoTrader.com recommended picks for “Eight Great American Cars to Spend a Tax Refund On.” With 18 percent of vehicle shoppers expecting a tax refund of $1,500 – $2,500 and 36 percent expecting a check for $2,500 or more, the experts kept all their picks between $15,000 and $25,000 (assuming a typical 10 percent down payment for vehicles). Most of these cars—with the exception of the Ford Fiesta and the Dodge Journey—benefit from being both made in the U.S.A. and made by an American automaker.
Expert Picks: Eight Great American Cars
- Buick Verano
- Chevrolet Sonic
- Ford Fiesta
- Ford Focus
- Ford Mustang
- Dodge Dart
- Dodge Journey
- Jeep Wrangler
Full Report Available Online
The full report, brought to you by the AutoTrader.com Trend Engine, provides in-depth analysis of these vehicles—from the reasons experts selected them to the level of interest consumers have shown these vehicles while shopping on AutoTrader.com.
Atlanta-based AutoTrader.com, created in 1997, is the Internet’s ultimate automotive marketplace and consumer information website. AutoTrader.com aggregates in a single location millions of new cars, used cars and certified pre-owned cars from thousands of auto dealers and private sellers and is a leading online resource for auto dealers, individuals and manufacturers to advertise and market their vehicles to in-market shoppers. The company also provides a robust suite of software tools for dealers and manufacturers to help them manage and market their vehicle inventory and display advertising on the Internet. AutoTrader.com continues to grow key business metrics, including revenue, profitability and site traffic. Today, AutoTrader.com attracts millions of unique monthly visitors who utilize the site to review descriptions, photos and videos of vehicles for sale; research and compare vehicles; review pricing and specials; and read auto-related content like buying and selling tips and editorial coverage of major auto shows and automotive trends. AutoTrader.com operates one other auto marketing brand, AutoTraderClassics.com. AutoTrader.com also owns used vehicle management software company vAuto, Kelley Blue Book (Kbb.com), HomeNet Automotive, a leading provider of online inventory management and merchandising solutions for the automotive retail industry and VinSolutions, a leading provider of end-to-end solution platforms for dealers. AutoTrader.com is a majority-owned subsidiary of Cox Enterprises. Providence Equity Partners is a 25 percent owner of the company and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers is also an investor. For more information, please visit www.autotrader.com.