Doing Automotive Research in the US? 4 Points You Should Know | Koeeru Global Trends

Before conducting research overseas, sometimes it helps to have a bit of background knowledge on the country you’re targeting. As we run international surveys for a wide range of industries, this time we decided to focus on the automotive market in the United States.

93% of American Households Have a Car

Our first question asked about car ownership:

Q: How many cars does your household own?

  • Don’t own a car: 7%
  • 1 car: 36%
  • 2 cars: 41%
  • More than 2 cars: 16%

America is famous for its car culture, so it is really no surprise that more than 50% of households have two or more cars. The real headline number is that 93% of households have at least one car. That is truly symbolic of a car-owning culture.

50% of Americans will Buy Their Cars New

We next took a look at whether Americans buy new or used cars:

When you purchased your car, did you buy it new or used?

  • New: 50%
  • Used, less than 6 months old: 4%
  • Used, 6 months to 1 year old: 6%
  • Used, 1 year to 3 years old: 12%
  • Used, more than 3 years old: 19%
  • Other: 9%

Clearly Americans have a love for new cars, with 50% buying them fresh off the lot. Also interesting is that 80% of Americans bought a car that was less than three years old. A surprisingly high number when looking at other countries.

SUVs Are Very Popular, Though Hybrids Less So Than Japan

We next looked at what types of cars people own:

What kind of car do you drive?

  • Micro-car: 3%
  • Sub-compact car: 8%
  • Compact sedan / station wagon / hatchback: 16%
  • Mid-sized car: 16%
  • Full-sized sedan / station wagon / hatchback: 14%
  • Luxury car: 10%
  • Hybrid / electric car: 5%
  • Sports car: 7%
  • Minivan: 5%
  • SUV / crossover: 31%
  • Pickup truck: 13%
  • Van: 2%
  • Motor home: 1%

Like Japan, SUVs were very popular, at 31% of the total. Also interesting was the large number of pickup trucks–another vehicle that carries an American image.

23% of Americans Own a Motorcycle

One surprising result we found related to motorcycle ownership:

Q: Do you own a motorcycle?

  • Yes, I own one: 23%
  • No, I don’t own one: 77%

Twenty-three percent was somewhat higher than we expected, and much higher than in Japan. Perhaps the call of the open road is too great to resist for many American riders.


From the above research, we could come to the following conclusions:

  1. Car ownership is very common in the US, and more than 50% of households have two cars
  2. Eighty percent of Americans buy a car three years or newer. This must limit the market for very old cars in the country.
  3. SUVs are very popular, like in Japan. Unsurprisingly, pickup trucks are more popular than hybrid or electric vehicles
  4. Over one in five Americans own a motorcycle

This blog series, Koeeru Global Trends, will regularly present the results of global market research studies conducted by Koeeru or our partners. If you are interested in the data from this study, or would like to take a data-driven approach to your own business, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Koeeru has international market research specialists that can help you learn more about over 200 countries and regions.

Tag Cloud
Top Case StudiesCareersTop ArticleSurvey PanelEmployee InterviewKoeeru GlobalMarket ResearchGlobal ResearchData Platforme-CommerceZero Party DataJICATanzaniaSmart CityTop NewsNewsJETROTourismHotel Marketing

Receive Updates to your Inbox!

Sign up for our newletter to receive timely updates, how-to tips, and invitations to webinars and events.


Keep Me

Email me with timely updates, how-to tips, and invitations to webinars and events.

Keep Me

Email me with timely updates, how-to tips, and invitations to webinars and events.