Social Character and the New Automobile Industry

by Kevin McCrohan, Jay Finkelman

Fall 1981

Volume 24
Issue 1

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The article presents a study of the accurate profile of profile of purchasers of new automobiles The first objective of this study was to examine the social character and socioeconomic correlates of the prestige-category choice of new automobile purchasers. The second objective was to determine if the concept of social character, as measured by the 1-0 Social Preference Scale, was an efficient discriminating variable when used with the traditional correlates of selected dimensions of automobile purchasing behavior. Questionnaires were mailed to a national probability sample of 2,966 individuals who had registered a new automobile in the U.S. during October 1976. Responses were received from 25 percent of the sample. The analysis of the data shows that the bivariate relationships between the independent and predictor variables, with the exception of social class, were in agreement with prior studies. The prestige groups are statistically different from each other. The discriminant functions classify subjects significantly better than chance in both the analysis and validation samples.

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