The older generation are prepared to pay extra to 'go green' with their vehicle purchases because it boosts their self-esteem and projects a positive image - according to a US study.
With the population size of the 'mature market' growing worldwide, the motor industry will use the significant finding to tailor their marketing campaigns for hybrid cars, it is believed.
The study was undertaken by Baylor University in Texas, and the researchers questioned 340 motorists over the age of 60 who had bought hybrid cars.
It found their satisfaction was influenced by social values, such as pride and prestige, as well as quality and price both now and in the future, ie. with future savings on fuel andcar insurance .
Social value, price and quality were found to be the most significant factors in promoting brand loyalty with senior citizens, rather than emotional values such as 'excitement'.
Jay Yoo, Ph.D, one of the research team commented: "The findings suggest that older consumers are concerned about how they appear to others when driving a hybrid car. They believe that driving a hybrid car builds a positive self-image of the people who drive them.
"This knowledge can help as a marketing tool. Hybrid cars have increased in visibility because of their environmental consciousness. So people may be willing to pay an extra $5,000 or so in order to think, 'I'm great, and this is good for the environment.'"
Copyright Press Association 2013