Practical car brands lead in Wilton
Honda, the Japanese import maker of economy cars, is the number one car builder for residents of Wilton, according to the town’s tax data.
Wilton has a reputation as a wealthy town where people can often be seen driving uber- expensive cars like Ferraris, but most Wiltonians drive practical cars that deliver value, according to the tax data.
Michael Abrahams, manager of Honda of Westport, said basic consumer values are why.
“The main reasons are the quality of the vehicle and Honda’s great reputation as being safe and reliable,” Abrahams said. “We always focus on safety, all our vehicles are crash test-rated. And we have fuel economy. People still appreciate a car with good fuel rating.”
The CRV, a small SUV, is the brand’s top seller, he said.
“Honda is very good with those. We are five-star crash-rated. We are Consumer Reports-recommended.”
Honda is the top-selling imported car in the Northeast, and also the top-selling import in Connecticut, Abrahams said.
The number two brand in Wilton is Toyota, a Japanese import. Then comes Chevrolet, an American make, and Ford, also an American brand. SUVs, not sedans, are the go-to vehicles for these American brands.
BMW, known for German luxury, comes in at fifth place while American icon Jeep is in sixth. Then comes Japanese Subaru in seventh place, Japanese Nissan in eighth place, German Audi at number 9 and finally, the stereotypical Mercedes at number 10.
From a marketing perspective, it would be an erroneous conclusion to think rich town, expensive car, a local marketing professor said.
“I would say that’s the hazard of profiling the town. If you look at it as a rich town, rich cars, you might make an erroneous conclusion,” said Karen Koza, marketing professor at Western Connecticut State University in neighboring Danbury, during an interview last winter about car sales on the Gold Coast.
The choice of cars in Wilton may actually show the town’s true character as a commuter town, where many residents must drive some distance to get to work and therefore a smaller, economy car is the transportation of choice.
Following is a more complete list of the most popular car brands in Wilton. The total 2015 Grand List of 16,157 vehicles is assessed at $200.2 million.