Department of Dubious Research: Size Doesn’t Matter? on MINIA MINI USA survey** claims auto consumers are divided on size, but united on customization. “Despite claims of big car dominance, auto shoppers remain sharply divided on their preference of car size, but united on their hunt for more personalization when it comes to design and premium features,” said Mini this morning on the eve of press day at the Geneva Motor Show.

These findings come from a new survey MINI USA recently commissioned from market research and business intelligence firm Engine designed to identify car shopping trends among general consumers and millennials.

According to the survey, customization (59%) and design (76%) are both important to consumers when considering a new car purchase.

This affirms a decades long trend where automakers are looking beyond wheels and color choice to create ways for drivers to express themselves through their cars. The aftermarket of course has been doing this since at least the Model T.

Personalization and customization have been part of marketing MINI since the brand’s inception*. Mini says it is an area it will continue to expand.

While most consumers agreed on the importance of personalization, those surveyed were divided on size preference in a new car today with 47% opting for a smaller car that maximizes space, and 53% prefer a larger vehicle with ample cargo room.

The commercial: “MINI has always offered a wide range of options for customization and personalization, an approach perfectly aligned to meet the needs of today’s consumers,” said Andrew Cutler, Head of Corporate Communications, MINI USA . “Those looking for premium features with a focus on design, style and maximized space can easily find a vehicle to fit their needs amongst our product line.”

Mini admits there are other factors pushing consumer car buying habits:

  • Interior comfort and style are the most important aspect of vehicle design (53%), followed by technology and infotainment (20%).
  • Millennials more than other generations value technology and infotainment.
  • Men rank customization as two times more important than their female counterparts.

*MINI USA began selling vehicles in the U.S. in 2002 with the introduction of the MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper S Hardtops. Since then, the MINI Brand in the U.S. has grown to encompass a model range of five vehicles.

**The General Population survey was conducted by Engine’s CARAVAN among a sample of 1,003 adults comprising 502 men and 501 women 18 years of age and older on behalf of MINI USA. The survey was live from November 5-7, 2018.

About Ken Zino

Ken Zino is an auto industry veteran with global experience in print, broadcast and electronic media. He has auto testing, marketing, public relations and communications expertise garnered while working in Asia, Europe and the U.S.
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