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  4. > 2011 United States Vehicle Owners’ Attitudes and Beliefs about Vehicle Maintenance

rost & Sullivan’s objectives for this research service include identifying attitudes and beliefs of vehicle owners in the United States regarding vehicle maintenance. This service identifies oil change and fuel purchase behaviors, determines replacement part behaviors, and identifies usage rates of roadside assistance. Since attitudes have not changed but behaviors have, it appears the economic recovery is the largest contributing factor. This research targeted 1,098 United States vehicle owners who have had general vehicle maintenance performed on their primary vehicle within the past twelve months.
Research Objectives

Frost & Sullivan’s research objective is to assess United States vehicle owners’ behaviors and attitudes regarding the routine maintenance of their primary vehicles. Specifically, the objectives of this research service are to:
•Identify attitudes and beliefs toward maintenance
•Identify oil change and fuel purchase behaviors
•Determine replacement part behaviors
•Identify usage rates of roadside assistance

Method Details
Methodology
A web-based survey methodology was utilized. Data was collected in July 2011.
Sample
To achieve the targeted number of responses, we partnered with a trusted web-panel supplier. Generally, web-panel respondents are compensated as members by the web-panel supplier to participate in surveys for which they qualify.
Specifically, we targeted x,xxx United States vehicle owners who have had general vehicle maintenance performed on their primary vehicles within the past xx months. Demographic details of surveyed respondents are shown in slides 8-15.
Reporting Notes
Due to rounding, percentages in tables and charts may not sum to 100.


Executive Summary
Minor Maintenance
Of the minor maintenance services surveyed, engine oil changes continue to be most often routinely performed. Interestingly, all minor maintenance behaviors surveyed continue to rise gradually. This is not so surprising given that attitudes toward vehicle maintenance have remained fairly consistent in that most rely on the vehicle owner’s manual for scheduled maintenance. Since attitudes have not changed, it appears that the economic recovery within the past few years is likely the largest contributor to the actual behavior changes. Specifically, United States vehicle owners are making small changes to save money, and that seems to translate into longer periods of time or more miles between minor maintenance services. On the other hand, some vehicle owners are investing more in the maintenance of their current vehicle because they plan to keep it longer and avoid new car payments.
“Other” Maintenance
Performance of “other” maintenance behavior is down from previous years in every category surveyed, but brake service/inspection remains the most popularly performed maintenance in the “other” category. Like minor maintenance attitudes, most vehicle owners in the United States have positive attitudes toward “other” maintenance, but the significant costs associated with being proactive are not yet warranted. However, it seems likely that the economy is negatively impacting “other” maintenance behavior despite positive attitudes toward vehicle maintenance.
Locations of Maintenance Performance
Overall, the largest proportion of United States vehicle owners rely on vehicle dealerships to perform minor and other vehicle maintenance. Specifically for oil changes and tire maintenance, specialty repair shops and tire company chains are highly competitive with dealers. Additionally, for other types of maintenance, independent or franchise repair shops draw a significant share of customers and appear to be highly competitive with dealers.
Specifically, the lube, oil, and filter channels are strong since they specialize in services that have three-to-four more opportunities annually compared to other light maintenance services. Midas, as a single franchise, is very successful and generates its position from across all services. Jiffy Lube continues to dominate the oil change category but is strongly challenged by Express Lube and Wal-Mart. The tire chains slipped in 2011; whereas AAMCO, mostly known as a transmission shop, is doing well.
Oil Change Behaviors
The largest proportion of United Sates vehicle owners have their oil changed every x,xxx miles. However, compared to past results, more are extending the miles between oil changes. While some of this is explained by vehicle manufacturers’ recommendations and the use of premium or synthetic oils, a portion is due to the economy, and as a result they have oil changes performed less often.
Purchase Behaviors of Replacement Parts
While the largest proportion of vehicle owners in the United States claim to select original equipment (OE) replacement parts for their vehicles, this appears to contradict the actual purchases made within the replacement parts market. Thus, it seems that the United States vehicle owners like to think they are purchasing OE replacement parts, when it is more likely they are not. Also, due to the economic recovery, there has been a rise in vehicle owners choosing the least expensive replacement parts.
Roadside Assistance
Nearly three out of four vehicle owners in the United States have roadside assistance, with the majority using an aftermarket provider. The potential is likely to grow for aftermarket roadside assistance providers as xx percent of those using a vehicle manufacturer provider are likely to switch to an aftermarket provider once their contract expires. Reasons for this could be due to vehicle owners planning to keep their vehicles longer. Since the vehicles are becoming older, roadside assistance is a way of ensuring they are not stranded.

Table Of Contents

2011 United States Vehicle Owners’ Attitudes and Beliefs about Vehicle Maintenance
TABLE OF CONTENTS

Research Objectives, Method Details, and Demographics 5
Executive Summary 16
Minor Maintenance Behaviors 20
Switch from Vehicle Dealership for Minor Maintenance 74
Other Maintenance Behaviors 77
Switch from Vehicle Dealership for Other Maintenance 112
Maintenance Attitudes and Beliefs 116
Oil Change Behaviors 126
Purchase Behaviors of Performance Chemicals 133
Purchase Behaviors of Replacement Parts 139
Roadside Assistance 145
Engine and Transmission Repair 150
Current Vehicle in Household and Switch to Alternative Transportation 154
Service Center Brand Perceptions 161
Maintenance Parts Brand Perceptions 170
Appendix 194
The Frost and Sullivan Story 218

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