SOURCE: BrandIntel

March 25, 2008 11:04 ET

BrandIntel Study Asks 'Do Consumers Care About Green Issues as It Relates to the Automotive Industry?'

New Automotive Report Analyzes Green/Sustainability Consumer Discussions Online

TORONTO--(Marketwire - March 25, 2008) - BrandIntel, a leader in online market intelligence solutions, today announced the findings of its newest automotive report, which highlights consumer discussion and sentiment for green automotive technologies and its environmental sustainability in the marketplace. A majority of consumer discussion focused on fuel and fuel economy as well as alternative technologies, such as hybrid vehicles. The report found that consumers care about green issues when they align with their own economic interests.

"Our research suggests that consumers are voicing concerns about green issues almost exclusively in the context of their personal economics -- green is good, but it's most potent when it aligns with the consumer's wallet," said Alan Dean, VP of Research at BrandIntel. "Consumers are also quick to see which auto manufacturers have credibility creating green vehicles and which manufacturers put in 'just enough effort' to appear green. Additionally, consumers have moved beyond the surface issues and are engaged in complex discussions about the lifetime environmental footprint of new technologies."

The BrandIntel report titled, "Managing Sustainability: Analyzing User Generated Content to Understand the Issue," looks at consumer discussions and sentiment scores around green automotive technology chatter and the issues in which these alternative technologies are discussed. Based on analysis of consumer-created content, the report captures data from October 1, 2007 to December 31, 2007. Key findings from the report include:

--  Over 80% of consumer discussions focused on fuel economy, indicating
    that consumers perceive the value proposition experienced with green auto
    technologies and indicates a willingness to consider more economic vehicle
    options.
--  Of the discussions focused on green IT issues, automakers not in
    support of new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards are viewed
    more negatively by consumers. For example, consumers questioned Toyota's
    position in opposition to the new CAFE standards, as consumers have
    traditionally seen Toyota as a green company.
--  While diesel technologies are making significant strides, consumers
    still use the word 'hybrid' three times more suggesting that consumers'
    associations between 'green' and 'hybrid' are more prevalent than 'green'
    and 'diesel.'
--  Toyota, Honda, Mercedes and Volkswagen have green credibility due to
    their hybrid and diesel vehicle offerings. Conversely, discussion around
    GM, Chevrolet and Chrysler brands reveals that consumers do not perceive
    these manufacturers to have green credibility due to their large truck and
    SUV fleets, as well as weaker diesel/hybrid vehicle lineups.
    

For this report, BrandIntel tracked more than two million raw search results on the Internet but refined those results through technological filters and human analysis to utilize only the highest quality data -- totaling more than 1,100 consumer mentions on green automotive technology. BrandIntel analyzed the most pertinent consumer-created content on the Internet to measure for assigned sentiment scores and share of discussion, rating the physical and emotional value of the results (positive or negative). For automotive companies, this is especially important in properly assessing consumer wants and needs and is effective in forecasting macro level trends in the market place.

For more information about the report, please contact Alicia Libucha or Brittany Bevacqua of Lois Paul & Partners at 781-782-5000.

About BrandIntel (www.brandintel.com)

BrandIntel, a Brandimensions Inc. company, translates consumer-created content into reliable intelligence, enabling businesses to advance the science of decision-making. The company offers an information-delivery platform combining human intelligence with award-winning technology for the most trusted market data in the industry. The BrandIntel data helps businesses validate critical business decisions, uncover new opportunities for value creation, and get closer to customers. BrandIntel works with Fortune 1000 companies and is headquartered in Toronto, Canada, with offices in the United States.

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