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What type of vehicle do people drive? The role of attitude and lifestyle in influencing vehicle type choice


Traditionally, economists and market researchers have been interested in identifying the factors that affect consumers' car buying behaviors to estimate market share, and to that end they have developed various models of vehicle type choice. However, they do not usually consider consumers' travel attitudes, personality, lifestyle, and mobility as factors that may affect the vehicle type choice. The purpose of this study is to explore the relationship of such factors to individuals' vehicle type choices, and to develop a disaggregate choice model of vehicle type based on these factors as well as typical demographic variables. The data for this study comes from a 1998 mail-out/mail-back survey of 1904 residents in the San Francisco Bay Area. The dependent variable (the vehicle type the respondent drives most often) is classified into nine categories: small, compact, mid-sized, large, luxury, sports, minivan/van, pickup, and sport utility vehicle. Based on these categories, we first related vehicle type to travel attitude, personality, lifestyle, mobility, and demographic variables individually, using one-way analysis of variance and chi-squared tests. Then, a multinomial logit model for vehicle type choice was estimated. The final model (which possessed the IIA property) confirmed that the variables analyzed significantly affect an individual's vehicle type choice. These results provide useful background not only to vehicle manufacturers, but also to decision makers and planners of transportation policy related to vehicle ownership, traffic congestion, and energy consumption. (C) 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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