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WREG-TV Channel 3 Memphis: Shell ‘Autotude’ Survey Reveals What People Think About Their Vehicles and Driving

Survey finds more than 75 percent of Americans have bonded emotionally with their autos

HOUSTON, March 26 /PRNewswire/ — A new Shell “Autotude” Survey(i) reveals that American drivers think of their autos as more than just a piece of machinery. The survey shows Americans believe their vehicles have unique personalities (67 percent), would make them proud in front of their boss (64 percent) and can even score them a date (60 percent). Plus, there are regional differences in drivers’ “autotudes.” While most of the country views their cars and trucks as simply a way to get from point A to point B, drivers in the Farm Belt states (from North Dakota down to Kansas and Missouri) the Outer South (from Texas to Virginia) and New England(ii) say they actually enjoy and look forward to driving.

The survey had respondents describing their autos with language once reserved for children and pets. Here’s what respondents divulged:

    — Vehicles have personalities, too. Two in three American drivers believe
       their cars have a personality and most respondents agreed that they had
       a “strong emotional bond” with their vehicles (56 percent).
       Additionally, more women (66 percent) than men (56 percent) feel their
       personality is similar to their vehicles’. And 21 percent even admitted
       to patting their dashboards like a pet.
    — Flush with pride or embarrassment? Most Americans (64 percent) say they
       would be proud of their autos if they had to give their bosses a ride
       and only 15 percent say they’d be embarrassed. Southerners are the
       proudest with more than 70 percent saying they’re happy to show them
    — He-Car, She-Car. Nearly half of drivers think their vehicle has a
       gender, with 60 percent of vehicles viewed as female and 40 percent
       viewed as male. Of those with a gender, vehicles in Southern states are
       more likely to be female, while autos in the Midwest are more likely to
       be male.
    — The name game. While most respondents say their cars have personalities
       (67 percent), surprisingly few Americans drivers have a name for their
       vehicle (15 percent). However, one in five people who live on the West
       Coast say their cars and trucks do have a name and 28 percent of those
       who name their vehicle say they chose a name based on someone they
    — Can your pick-up pick up a date? Those lucky in love may have their
       auto to thank since 60 percent of Americans believe cars can be “chick
       or dude magnets.” Sports cars are the most attractive overall (46
       percent), while SUVs turn heads in the Deep South (22 percent) and
       Mountain (25 percent) states and pick-ups have fans in the Great Lakes
       and Pacific states (15 percent each).
    — Maintenance likes and dislikes. Most Americans feel relatively
       comfortable performing maintenance tasks on their vehicles. However,
       there are still certain tasks that drivers dread like changing a flat
       tire (28 percent) and changing their oil (19 percent). Pumping one’s
       own gasoline is the task American drivers feel most comfortable
       performing (88 percent).
    — Engine gunk is junk. Most American drivers are savvy about the build-up
       of engine gunk in their cars and say that gunky build-up can rob their
       engines of performance (93 percent), decrease their car’s fuel
       efficiency (92 percent) and increase how much their car pollutes (80

“At Shell, we’re experts on fuel, but we wanted to know more about drivers’ “autotudes” — or the bond they have with their vehicles,” said Todd Jackson, advertising manager, US Retail. “The results showed us drivers have a surprisingly strong emotional tie with their automobiles, and that’s why we are pleased to provide them with a gasoline that can help eliminate gunky buildup on critical engine parts and educate consumers that not all gasolines are the same.

For more information, please visit

Shell Oil Products US, a subsidiary of Shell Oil Company, is a leader in the refining, transportation and marketing of fuels, and has a network of approximately 6,600 branded gasoline stations in the Midwest and Western United States. Motiva Enterprises LLC refines and markets branded products through more than 9,000 branded stations in the Eastern and Southern United States. Shell Oil Company is a 50 percent owner of Motiva Enterprises LLC, along with Saudi Refining, Inc. Shell Oil Company is an affiliate of the Shell Group [ and ]. For more information, please visit

     i. StrategyOne conducted this nationwide telephone survey on behalf of
        Shell Worldwide between November 15 and November 19, 2007 among 2,025
        licensed American drivers, ages 16+. Margin of error for the entire
        sample is +/- 2.2 percent.

     ii. New England: Conn., Maine, Mass., N.H., R.I., Vt.; Mid Atlantic:
        Del., D.C., Md., N.J., N.Y., Pa., W. Va.; Outer South: Ky., N.C.,
        Okla., Tenn., Texas, Va.; Deep South: Ala., Ark., Fla., Ga., La.,
        Miss., S.C.; Great Lakes: Ill., Ind., Mich., Minn., Ohio, Wisc.; Farm
        Belt: Iowa, Kan., Mo., Neb., N.D., S.D.; Mountain: Ariz., Colo.,
        Idaho, Mont., Nev., N.M., Utah, Wyo.; Pacific: Alaska, Calif.,
        Hawaii, Ore., Wash.

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