Study: How Much do you Trust the Auto Industry?

Car buyers aged 18-34 trust the auto industry more than older generations, according to the forthcoming 2020 CarGurus Car Buyer Trust Index.

This new study, which examines the role trust plays in the car-buying process, was conducted among all age groups and represents people who either bought a car recently or considered doing so in the near future.

While older buyers are more cynical of automakers’ intentions, transparency and reliability, Millennials and members of Generation Z believe that they put consumer and societal interests first.

Unsurprisingly, the social conscience of a car brand is notably more important to young people and nearly two in five (37 percent) said they think the industry can be trusted to do the right thing for society.

That compares with 27 percent of Generation X (those aged 35-54) respondents and just 15 percent of Baby Boomers (55-64).

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“The good news for the car industry is that the younger generation, which is crucial to the future of the sector, has a level of trust in car brands,” said Madison Gross, Director of Consumer Insights at CarGurus. “It’s important that businesses continue to enhance that relationship with Gen Z and Millennial buyers.

Overall, integrity (a brand delivering on its promises) ranked as the most important trust factor for respondents.

Women are More Suspicious

The CarGurus Car Buyer Trust Index also reveals that women view the auto industry with far more suspicion than men. Only a quarter (26 percent) of female buyers believe that manufacturers have their best interests at heart versus a third of men (32 percent).

Likewise, more than half (52 percent) of the females surveyed said they were uncertain about where they stand on the issue, making women 9 percent more likely than men to be unsure about how trustworthy the car industry is.

Gross adds that the industry needs to do more in how they serve female car buyers, especially since women are quite often the key shopping decision-makers in relationships.

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