Requirements for change in consumer car buying practices - observations from Sweden
Paper in proceedings, 2009

The Swedish car fleet today consists of the largest, heaviest, most powerful and most fuel consuming automobiles in Europe. This cannot be explained by demographics, national income, geography, and climate reasons only. Beyond the reasons for the current state of affairs the main focus for the present study is to learn more on how the individual car buyer deliberates when considering buying a new automobile. A main question is what would make the car buyer consider an alternative motor vehicle to what has usually been the preferred choice, especially in regard to car size, engine choice and the type of fuel (energy source) used to propel the vehicle. Around the individual consumer there are a number of stakeholders that have a vested interest in affecting the choice of the individual consumer. Among these stakeholders we find car producers, car dealers, importers, the government represented by many different agents, the automobile industry organizations, environmental organizations, and representatives for the media. These stakeholders are all taking action in pursuing their interests and achieving their goals, which by nature are in conflict towards other stakeholders. The study maps the way these stakeholders act to affect the development of the new car market. All this is taking place in the midst of the present debate on global warming and the way human beings affect the climate, which enhances the interest from most parties and stakeholders to navigate in these turbulent times of changing consumer preferences and car buying patterns.

car buying patterns


fuel consumption

consumer preferences.


Mikael Wickelgren

University of Gothenburg

Frances Sprei

Chalmers, Energy and Environment

Sten Karlsson

Chalmers, Energy and Environment, Physical Resource Theory

Paper for the ECEEE (European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy) 2009 Summer Study, 1–6 June 2009, La Colle sur Loup, Côte d'Azur, France.

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