Adding iPod connectivity as standard equipment on their vehicles could save American automobile manufacturers from extinction, according to recent research by Jacobs Media.
The study conducted among 21,000 listeners of rock-music radio stations from around the US suggests high-tech features play an important role in the vehicle-purchase decision and that carmakers should not miss key opportunities to include and market such features to consumers.
The study asked prospective vehicle purchasers to rate the most desired features and options relating to entertainment, music, and information. Nearly half (47%) of the respondents said iPod and other MP3 player connectivity was “very important” to them, ranking above satellite radio, GPS, DVD player, and HD Radio.
The finding that a large percentage of consumers are considering American cars – coupled with the fact that so many respondents want iPod connectors, – presents opportunities for American carmakers to differentiate themselves in the marketplace, according to Jacobs Media President Fred Jacobs.
“The automakers are struggling to generate sales in a challenging economic environment,” Jacobs said. “but outside of KIA’s new commercials for their Soul, iPod connectors are not in the sales proposition. It’s a missed opportunity. Satellite radio and GPS won’t move the needle – but iPods will.”