Econometric Modeling of Passenger Car Retail Purchase Behavior


Finished project (07/2017 – 09/2018), funded by Ford Motor Company

Within the scope of the “Ford – RWTH Aachen Alliance” FCN jointly investigates with the Chair of Management Accounting (Prof. Letmathe), the Research Unit International Economics (Prof. Lorz, Dr. Kasperk) and Ford Motor Company the purchase behavior of private car buyers in five European markets.

The goal of this research project is to identify consumer choice and automotive market mechanisms, in order to understand drivers of customer loyalty with respect to brand, vehicle segment and powertrain technology and to derive actionable insights.

Applying microeconometric analysis on survey data, the aim is to understand the impact of vehicle attributes (incl. quality), customer characteristics, and market-specific economic factors (including taxation) in order to improve brand loyalty, support segmentation and planning by providing new insights into potential market shifts (e.g. e-mobility).

Based on the results of the microeconometric analysis, a discrete choice experiment gives details on consumer choice and willingness-to-pay by brand, segment, and powertrain, which cannot be answered using the existing survey data.

A final focus of the project is to incorporate the empirical insights on customer behavior in order to optimize incentive mechanisms and pricing strategies.

Projekt publications

Zeng Y., Schmitz H., Madlener R. (2018). An Econometric Analysis of the Determinants of Passenger Vehicle Sales in Germany, FCN Working Paper No. 6/2018, Institute for Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior, RWTH Aachen University, April. [Link]

Supervised student research

Zeng Y. (2018). An Econometric Analysis of German Car Sales, Master thesis, Chair of Energy Economics and Management, Faculty of Business and Economics, RWTH Aachen University.



Reinhard Madlener

Institutsleiter FCN


+49 241 80 49820