A survey that was asking 65 American as well as German students for their preferences regarding purchasing new cars revealed surprising results. For example, it was remarkable that the 54 % of American students told that they already have a car while only 24 % of German students could say the same. Even more surprising is that, while the average age of these cars is 5 years for American cars, “German” cars are - in average - 10 years older (15 years).
Also the study pointed out that American consumers are in general more aware about the environment than German consumers – directly and indirectly. Indirect in this context means that American consumers were less interested in SUVs/trucks but therefore more interested in small/compact cars than German consumers. They also ranked the direct variable to prove this higher than German consumers did: By asking, how important they value the environmentally friendliness of their next car the American consumers rated it with an average of 3.97 while the Germans only rated 3.52. The highest value for this question was 5 (highly important) while 1 equaled not important at all.
The survey was conducted in order to figure out the preferences international consumers have towards their new car. Based on these figures car maker can make decisions whether to build one car for two markets like the VW Jetta which came in the same format in Germany as well as in the U.S. . But they can also see that the preferences in some classes of types of cars are too different. This was the case at the new VW Passat which is completely different in the German version compared to the U.S. version.