What Your Car Says About You *pics*

  1. What Your Car Says About You
    Dan Lienert, 05.10.07, 12:01 AM ET

    Ask a Chevrolet dealer what kind of message a $22,000 Monte Carlo coupe puts out.

    He's likely to say that Monte Carlo buyers are "motor sports enthusiasts who want to show off and stand out from the crowd; Monte Carlo is the sport coupe that embodies legendary American performance. These motor sports fans are image conscious, responsibly self-indulgent and looking for an acceptable way to rebel."

    At least that's what Chevy spokesman Travis Parman wrote in a recent e-mail message.

    But different people have different ideas, of course. For example, you might think that driving a Lexus makes you alluring, but if you opt for the $60,000 Lexus LS sedan, you might seem attractive only to older, single parents. According to the company, LS drivers are in their 60s, are family-oriented and value politeness. In other words, if you're looking to make a more dramatic statement, you should go for something more bold.

    Racy Drives
    Perhaps a Corvette? General Motors says the car's drivers are "aggressive and in control" and seek adventure. The Corvette "represents freedom and what is best about America."

    Then there is the Ferrari. People who have driven Ferraris know the vehicles feel like race cars. The cars are all about technology, innovation, design and racing heritage. And lest you forget: Ferraris are Italian, which some say makes them sexier.

    "The identity of the brand is wrapped up in the history of Italy and vice versa," says a company spokesman. "Everything that is grand and great about Italy and the approach to life in Italy ... is a big part of it."

    Telling Data
    We have looked into over a dozen vehicles, from the Monte Carlo to the Rolls-Royce Phantom, asking their manufacturers to tell us a bit about the cars' buyers. The information in this story comes from buyer demographics and from what carmakers call "psychographics"--or customers' beliefs and attitudes.

    Sometimes, psychographic profiles can be quite detailed. Take the Accord. Honda Motor reports that the car's owners like to vacuum their garages. You can't say they're not clean.

    We also found that sometimes messages sent out by seemingly similar cars can be quite different.

    Consider two premier British luxury sedans: Bentley's $210,000 Arnage and Rolls' $330,000 Phantom. Both are stately and fast, but each one attracts a different kind of customer.

    The Bentley buyer wants an understated heirloom that he or she can pass down through the generations; over 80% of all Bentleys ever made are still on the road today. The Phantom buyer, on the other hand, is looking for instant recognition.

    "You look at the styling of the Phantom. You look at that upright grille," says Bentley spokesman David Reuter. "The car has a presence that really demands attention wherever it goes. When you look at the Arnage, it's far more understated."

    Rolls spokesman Bob Austin agrees. "There is simply no sneaking around in a Phantom," he said in a recent e-mail message. "As you drive down the street you can see camera phones tracking your every move. If you treasure anonymity, this is not the car for you."

    Aston Martin DB9 two-door
    Base price: $165,400
    You are self-made, and even though you spent upward of $200,000 on a car, you are not showy. Aston owners, says company spokesman Matthew Clarke, "are not particularly extroverted when it comes to their wealth." They are "the sort of people who would prefer to wear the designer brand on the inside rather than the outside."

    Bentley Arnage sedan
    Base price: $212,990
    Your net worth is around $30 million, but you probably came from ordinary means. You chose this premier British luxury sedan and not its most-similar competitor, Rolls-Royce's attention-getting Phantom, because you prefer a car that is more discreet. You are more interested in rewarding yourself than making a statement.
    Cadillac Escalade SUV
    Base price: $55,400
    You make around $175,000 a year. You speak your mind and are unapologetic. You enjoy life and do a lot of entertaining. You seize life's opportunities. You think, "I have to be out doing something. I want to accomplish something." You take risks. You would rather fail than not try.
    Chevrolet Corvette two-door
    Base price: $44,995
    You are aggressive and in control. You appreciate style and visual aesthetics in homes, cars and architecture. You are successful and seek adventure. And you are probably something of a fanatic; over 95,000 people belong to Corvette clubs, and the National Corvette Museum has 20,000 members.
    Chevrolet Monte Carlo coupe
    Base price: $21,700
    You are between 45 and 55. Your income is between $65,000 and $75,000. There is a 40% chance you graduated from college. You watch racing on TV. You like to show off and stand out from the crowd. You are image-conscious and looking for a way to rebel.
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    Chrysler Town & Country minivan
    Base price: $22,440
    Chrysler designed the car for married couples aged 35 to 45. This kind of couple will have two or more children over the age of six at home and a household income of around $80,000--but these are the "target customers." According to Chrysler, the van's "secondary customers" are empty-nesters, aged 55 to 65.
    Dodge Viper two-door
    Base price: $81,895
    You are a man's man; 96% of Viper owners are guys. You are an executive, manager or business owner. Driving is one of your favorite things to do, and you want to stand out in a crowd. You want your car to be able to outperform most others on the road.
    Ferrari F430 two-door
    Base price: $168,005
    You are rich, passionate and highly educated. Owning an Italian car means a lot to you, as does commanding technology imported from Ferrari's world-championship winning race cars.
    Honda Civic coupe and sedan
    Base price: $14,810
    Your biggest hobbies are watching TV, going to the movies, reading, domestic travel and conversations with friends. Your biggest emotional desires are feeling secure, feeling in control of your life, having fun, having your needs met and having a sense of freedom.
    Honda Odyssey minivan
    Base price: $25,645
    Your biggest hobbies are domestic travel, family gatherings, church functions, conversations with friends and reading. Your biggest emotional desires are feeling secure, feeling safe, making smart choices, feeling in control of your life and feeling proud of your achievements.
    Jeep Wrangler SUV
    Base price: $19,145
    The chance you take your car off-road is over 60%. Rather than dream of adventure, you can and do experience it with such activities as backpacking, mountain biking and kayaking. You have always wanted a Wrangler. You are outdoorsy and seek excitement, physical challenge and freedom.
    Lexus LS sedan
    Base price: $61,000
    You like to travel to exotic locations. You enjoy exercising, reading books and taking classes for personal self-development. You are married and family-oriented, and you make around $175,000 a year. You are around 64 years old. To you, intelligence and politeness are guiding principles in life.
    Mercedes-Benz S-Class sedan
    Base price: $86,525
    You want to go to the 21 Club, but not necessarily with somebody else: Mercedes says that in a survey 76% of S-Class buyers listed "fine dining" as their favorite recreational activity, but only 49% listed "conversations." Fifty-seven percent listed domestic travel, 54% listed foreign travel and 44% listed watching sports on TV.
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    Nissan 350Z two-door
    Base price: $27,900
    Compared with buyers of similar sports cars, you are younger and have a smaller chance of being married. You have a higher chance of being black or Hispanic, and a higher chance of wanting to own a pet. The thing you want to feel most is confidence. Having a safe vehicle that you can trust is more important to you than having a vehicle that is fun to drive.
    Porsche 911 two-door
    Base price: $72,400
    Eighty-eight percent of Porsche 911 owners are male. Your household income is around $390,000, and you are most likely a doctor or a lawyer with your own business or practice. You are about 51 years old.
    Rolls-Royce Phantom sedan
    Base price: $328,750
    You have over $25 million in liquid assets, three to five homes and six or more cars. You wrote a check for your Phantom, and neither you nor any of your fellow Phantom owners have ever asked how much the Phantom costs per month, although you did ask about its gas mileage (13/19 miles per gallon, city/highway).
    Volkswagen Jetta sedan
    Base price: $16,490
    Compared with the general population, you are 98% more likely to have a job in technology, 70% more likely to listen to music in your free time, 40% less likely to be divorced, 37% more likely to use sunblock, 154% more likely to snowboard, 51% more likely to think your car should catch people's attention, 65% more likely to drive faster than normal and 30% more likely to recycle.
  4. Hmmm.... well DH drives a vette.... I don't see him much of an architecture buff but he is definitely a fanatic about his car. :p

    Some thing about Corvette's draw in such a loyal following. Now the trick is to make my GTO faster and see him cry like a baby. :nuts:
  5. I think my Toyota SUV says 2 kids and 2 dogs but not ready for the minivan. The tv in the back states she hates to hear complaining on a long road trip, while the seat heater gives the impression she might be cold natured. Also it says "She is short and likes to see over other cars."
  6. I wonder what my Golf says about me...
  7. I have owned three of the cars listed (non American made) and I don't fit into the demographic of any of them. I guess I am fickle.
  8. I own a beat up old Ford, and it isn't listed here :p

    However anyone who sees my car will classify my economic bracket pretty accurately!!
  9. what? no beetle?:crybaby:
  10. Whaaaat? No Toyota Corolla?


    No recognition for us less fortunate folk?
  11. Funny post! I have an Accord 2 door right now, and I somewhat fit in the civic comment :amuse:
  12. I have an Audi A4... and I partly fit into the VW profile...

    My other vehicle, the Jeep Grand Cherokee, isn't listed and the escalade profile sure isn't me!
  13. Well, after reading the Jetta description, I guess I pretty much agree with most of the comments. The ones bolded are the ones that def. fit!

    Compared with the general population, you are 98% more likely to have a job in technology, 70% more likely to listen to music in your free time, 40% less likely to be divorced, 37% more likely to use sunblock, 154% more likely to snowboard, 51% more likely to think your car should catch people's attention, 65% more likely to drive faster than normal and 30% more likely to recycle.
  14. I hate to admit it but we just got our first Escalade and I fit the profile. That's my car pool car though. I drive a Porsche 911C4 in the summer and I don't fit the profile on that.

    However my :heart: will always belong to my Audis even though I don't currently own one.
  15. That's so cute! I lust after owning a Lexus LS sedan or
    Mercedes-Benz S-Class sedan 20 years from now.... guess the marketing team at the dealerships have me all figured out :p