Radio Broadly Reaches Vehicle Buyers, Even in a Chaotic Market.


The auto industry continues to suffer from supply-chain and inventory issues as Edmunds, J.D. Power, Cox Automotive and other analysts forecast a 15 to 18% decrease in Q1 2022 sales. Average transaction prices have also increased: Volkswagen by 12% to $46,358, Honda by 9.4% to $36,451 and Stellantis by 5.0% to $52,707.


Despite the chaos, radio reaches a broad range of consumers who are in the market for either a new or used vehicle.


Analysis of five representative fall 2021 consumer/market surveys conducted by The Media Audit reveals the strength of radio to penetrate multiple vehicle-buying consumers.


Adults 18+ who plan to buy a new car, truck, van, SUV or crossover and are heavily exposed to radio (180+ minutes during an average day) are older, on average, than those planning to buy similar used vehicles, or 42 and 36 years of age, respectively.


Similarly, adults planning to buy a new vehicle and heavily exposed to radio have significantly larger average household incomes at $86,900, compared to $58,300 for those planning to buy a used vehicle.


Despite the average household income disparity, the following table shows those with household incomes of less than $50,000 over-indexed more, on average, than those with larger household incomes.


“Planning to buy, or intent, is the first critical measurement of a medium’s reach. The indices in the table certainly indicate radio can powerfully reach those with incomes of less than $50,000 who have the intent to buy a new vehicle,” said Pete Forester, Northeast Market Manager, The Media Audit. “Although adults in higher household income brackets under-indexed, on average, in some markets, radio also strongly connects with these audiences.”


Correlating a different set of data from The Media Audit surveys shows adults in the highest household income brackets who are heavily exposed to radio over-indexed more, on average, for planning to buy a used car, truck, van, SUV or crossover than those in lower household income brackets.


With the dearth of new-vehicle inventory available, many consumers have had to choose a used vehicle instead, even those with the income to afford a new vehicle. Plus, those with larger incomes may be more likely to want a specific model with more extras, which are simply not available or they would have to wait too long for a special order from the factory. They may decide to look among available used vehicles for one that matches their desired model and extras.


Whatever target audiences, by age and income, intend to buy a new or used vehicle, The Media Audit says radio is the reach medium more likely to direct them to new and used vehicle dealers.

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