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Consumer Car Preferences and Information Search Channels


  • Frank J. van Rijnsoever


  • Jacco Farla


  • Martin J. Dijst


In this paper, we measure the relations between stated and revealed car preferences and the use of information sources in the car purchasing process, based on a survey of households in the Netherlands. The analysis showed that attitudinal and behavioral constructs are found for ‘environmental’, ‘performance’, and ‘convenience’ preferences, but that there is a ‘gap’ between attitude and behavior. The results show that people with a positive environmental attitude who also show environmentally friendly behavior have more involvement with cars than people who do not translate their environmental attitude into the corresponding behavior. This leads to the idea that not only environmental knowledge but also involvement with cars is a prerequisite for buying an environmentally friendly car.

Suggested Citation

  • Frank J. van Rijnsoever & Jacco Farla & Martin J. Dijst, 2009. "Consumer Car Preferences and Information Search Channels," Innovation Studies Utrecht (ISU) working paper series 09-07, Utrecht University, Department of Innovation Studies, revised Apr 2009.
  • Handle: RePEc:uis:wpaper:0907

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Frank J. van Rijnsoever & Martin J. Dijst & Carolina Castaldi, 2009. "Involvement and use of multiple search channels in the automobile purchase process," Innovation Studies Utrecht (ISU) working paper series 09-06, Utrecht University, Department of Innovation Studies, revised Apr 2009.
    2. Frank J. van Rijnsoever & Carolina Castaldi, 2008. "Perceived technology clusters and ownership of related technologies: the case of consumer electronics," Innovation Studies Utrecht (ISU) working paper series 08-17, Utrecht University, Department of Innovation Studies, revised Jun 2008.
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    Cited by:

    1. Frank Rijnsoever & Leon Welle & Sjoerd Bakker, 2014. "Credibility and legitimacy in policy-driven innovation networks: resource dependencies and expectations in Dutch electric vehicle subsidies," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 39(4), pages 635-661, August.
    2. Felix Hinnüber & Marek Szarucki & Katarzyna Szopik-Depczyńska, 2019. "The Effects of a First-Time Experience on the Evaluation of Battery Electric Vehicles by Potential Consumers," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(24), pages 1-25, December.
    3. Axsen, Jonn & Kurani, Kenneth S., 2013. "Hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or electric—What do car buyers want?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 532-543.
    4. Michelsen, Carl Christian & Madlener, Reinhard, 2011. "Homeowners' Motivation to Adopt a Residential Heating System: A Principal-Component Analysis," FCN Working Papers 17/2011, E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN), revised Jan 2013.
    5. van Rijnsoever, Frank J. & Castaldi, Carolina & Dijst, Martin J., 2012. "In what sequence are information sources consulted by involved consumers? The case of automobile pre-purchase search," Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 343-352.
    6. van Rijnsoever, Frank J. & Farla, Jacco C.M., 2014. "Identifying and explaining public preferences for the attributes of energy technologies," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 71-82.
    7. Axsen, Jonn & Orlebar, Caroline & Skippon, Stephen, 2013. "Social influence and consumer preference formation for pro-environmental technology: The case of a U.K. workplace electric-vehicle study," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 96-107.
    8. Michelsen, Carl Christian & Madlener, Reinhard, 2013. "Motivational factors influencing the homeowners’ decisions between residential heating systems: An empirical analysis for Germany," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 221-233.
    9. Constantin Sasu & Madalina V. Ariton (Balau), 2011. "Factors Influencing Passenger Car Consumer Behavior and their Use in the Environmental Public Policy," EuroEconomica, Danubius University of Galati, issue 27, pages 20-26, February.
    10. Maria Ioncică & Eva-Cristina Petrescu & Diana Ioncică, 2012. "Transports and Consumers’ Ecological Behaviour," The AMFITEATRU ECONOMIC journal, Academy of Economic Studies - Bucharest, Romania, vol. 14(31), pages 70-83, February.


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