To understand the nuances in purchase intent we examined motives for vehicle use, and how they vary based on the variables that drive differences in purchase intent. Students were asked to respond to statements about vehicle use on a likert scale. Typically, variation in purchase intent can be explained by profiles of students that separate those who drive for practical purposes and for fun.
Important predictors of purchase intent: whether the student has a dream car, student's gender, student's hometown
Students who say they already have a dream car that they aspire to own one day have a statistically significant preference for new cars as opposed to students without a dream car
Male students have a significantly stronger commitment to purchasing a vehicle - new or used compared to their female classmates
Male students agreed with 'I take pride in my car' more than females. Females agreed with 'I don't care what kind of car I have' more than males. Male students also find driving more enjoyable and relaxing. For a relaxing, enjoyable, and proud driving experience, a new car will satisfy male students more, and thus male students make a vehicle purchase a part of their plans more frequently than female classmates.
Students from rural areas have a distinct and significant preference for used cars
Rural students' preference for purchasing a used car can be explained by context. When rural areas lack public transportation, walkability, owning a car becomes a necessity and more integral to daily life. Because of this, students from rural areas agreed with 'my car makes my life easier' more. Rural students also agree with 'driving is enjoyable' and 'I take pride in my car' more than their suburban and urban classmates which may seem counterintuitive in explaining their preference for used cars. However, when these sentiments are underscored with a vehicle being necessary in daily life, rural students will prefer a vehicle at the lowest possible entry point - a used car.
Auto IQ has a number of unique effects on purchase plans: a proportional odds model
What may be the case is that as industry literacy (Auto IQ) grows, students better understand the value proposition of a used car over a new car. A used car costs less and informed students will know that the difference in reliability compared to a new car is negligible. However, students that are informed will also know about new technology and features only available on new cars, and being torn between the future-proof new cars and better value used cars may create the ambivalence that we see rising with Auto IQ.
Student Auto IQ and Purchase Intent- As a proportional odds model
A proportional odds model displays probabilities on the Y axis and a continuous quantitative variable on the X axis. 'Auto IQ' is the student's industry knowledge and as the metric increases along the X axis, the proportional odds model shows how the student's predicted purchase intent reacts.
For a given Auto IQ, the most likely purchase is the colored line that is highest above the certain IQ. The next highest line represents the next most likely purchase intent, and so on. All of the likelihoods add to 1.
Auto IQ of 'intermediate' would be most likely to select 'not sure if I will purchase a new or used vehicle,' and least likely to select 'I won't purchase a vehicle.'
Notably, as the Auto IQ increases, the probability they plan to purchase a new car falls dramatically, and probability of purchasing a used car increases. Ambivalence about buying a new or used car, or even anything at all also increases with higher industry knowledge.
Though unlikely, students are more likely to abstain from buying a car at all as their industry knowledge increases.
(Uncertainty grows with Auto IQ)