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Home arrow Market Research Findings arrow Automotive arrow Who Do Consumers Blame for Higher Gas Prices
Who Do Consumers Blame for Higher Gas Prices PDF Print E-mail
Written by TNS   
23 May 2007


Results Showcase Opportunity for Automakers to be Market Heroes

(NEW YORK, May 18, 2007) – TNS, one of the world’s largest market information
companies, today released highlights from a new survey focused on consumer attitudes
towards rising gas prices in the United States, the parties responsible and those
positioned to combat the surge. The report comes at a time when gas prices are at an
historic high, causing many consumers to take a closer look at this issue. Among the
key survey findings are the following:

- Consumers overwhelmingly blame oil companies for the higher gas prices,
with over 90 percent reporting oil companies were “somewhat responsible” or
“completely responsible”

- Not far behind are governments—the U.S. government and foreign
governments each selected by more than 80 percent of consumers as

- Automakers, despite negative press on their propensity to offer SUVs, are
perceived to be least responsible for higher gas prices (less than a third of
respondents), though consumers expect them to help offset the impact of
higher fuel costs

- Consumers themselves bear some of the responsibility–two-thirds of
respondents said consumers were “somewhat responsible” or “completely
responsible” for helping to drive prices down

The study reveals that oil companies will continue to face increasing consumer backlash
as prices continue to escalate. This has potentially broader ramifications as oil
companies have broadened product portfolios beyond traditional gas stations.
Additionally, the finding that the U.S. government is also responsible for prices being
high has significant ramifications for upcoming elections, particularly with gas prices at
historic highs.

"The results show that consumers see themselves as responsible for combating oil
prices, but are looking for a team solution from automakers, oil companies and the
government to drive prices to reasonable levels,” commented Lincoln Merrihew, Senior
Vice President of TNS Automotive in North America. “The good news for automakers is
that consumers do not blame them for gas price increases. However, they are looking
to automakers to solve the problem. Meeting those expectations can make them
heroes; missing that mark can be a substantial risk.”

About TNS Automotive

TNS Automotive is the world’s largest automotive research practice, with offices
worldwide and clients ranging from automakers to suppliers to petroleum companies to
government agencies. The study is based on a representative national sample of 2,500
consumers in the TNS panel. The internet-based survey was completed the week of
May 7th. Additional details on actual questions and respondent characteristics are

About TNS

TNS is a global market insight and information group.
Our strategic goal is to be recognized as the global leader in delivering value-added
information and insights that help our clients to make more effective decisions.
As industry thought leaders, our people deliver innovative thinking and excellent service
to global organizations and local clients worldwide. We work in partnership with our
clients, meeting their needs for high-quality information, analysis and foresight across
our network of over 70 countries.

We are the world’s foremost provider of custom research and analysis, combining indepth
industry sector understanding with world-class expertise in the areas of new
product development, segmentation and positioning research, brand and advertising
research and stakeholder management. We are a major supplier of consumer panel,
media intelligence and Internet, TV and radio audience measurement services.
TNS is the sixth sense of business.

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