Car Key Fobs Serve as Status Symbol and Fashion Accessory, According to Edmunds.com

Car Key Fobs Serve as Status Symbol and Fashion Accessory, According to Edmunds.com


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Car Key Fobs Serve as Status Symbol and Fashion Accessory, According to Edmunds.com

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — October 5, 2006 — Flashing a glamorous car key fob is a hot new fashion trend, according to Edmunds.com's summary of Top 10 Most Fabulous Key Fobs.

According to Lexus Product Planning Manager Ben Mitchell, company research discovered that "especially with young people, keys do make a statement. The key is brought out and plunked down in various places, making it highly visible to others."

"As automakers strive to differentiate their products and capture the attention of trend-setters, designers are encouraged to give special attention to key fobs and other automotive accessories," observed Joanne Helperin, Senior Features Editor at Edmunds.com.

Bentley's Director of Design and Styling, Dirk van Braekel, explained "The design idea [for our new key fobs] was to create a piece of jewelry, something special that an owner can hold, something that lives up to the Bentley vehicle and brings with it the Bentley status."

While the fashionable fob must convey style, it should also contain impressive high-tech features to achieve its full effect. Many luxury vehicles' key fobs now facilitate remote engine start and headlight illumination as well as keyless entry, thanks to tiny radio transmitters and sleek buttons.

Edmunds.com also found that many automakers with strong brand identities reflect their corporate image in their key fobs' functionality. Some Volvo key fobs provide extra safety and security features, such as a heartbeat sensor which lights up if it senses a heart beating in the car after it has been parked and locked. Consistent with Land Rover's rugged image, some of that company's key fobs can withstand a 30-foot drop onto a rock-hard surface.

Creative design can, however, lead to confusion. Nathan Rau, an attorney in Minnesota, had his switchblade-style key fob confiscated by airport security when screeners could not confirm it was not a weapon even after sending it on three trips through the X-ray machine.

"Drivers should take special care not to lose their fancy, high-function key fobs, as replacements can cost as much as $1,000," warned Edmunds.com's Helperin.

Discussions about key fobs are currently underway in the Automotive News and Views message board at http://townhall-talk.edmunds.com/direct/view/.f0f0c43 within Edmunds.com's CarSpace Forum.

About Edmunds.com, Inc. (www.edmunds.com)
Edmunds.com, Inc. publishes three Web sites that empower, engage and educate automotive consumers and enthusiasts. Edmunds.com, the premier online resource for automotive consumer information, launched in 1995 as the first automotive information Web site. Its most popular feature, the Edmunds.com True Market Value®, is relied upon by millions of people seeking current transaction prices for new and used vehicles. Edmunds.com was named "Best Car Research Site" by Forbes ASAP, has been selected by consumers as the "Most Useful Web Site" according to every J.D. Power and Associates New Autoshopper.com Study(SM), was ranked first in the Survey of Car-Shopping Web Sites by The Wall Street Journal and was rated "#1" in Keynote's study of third-party automotive Web sites. Inside Line launched in January 2005 and is the most-read automotive enthusiast Web site. CarSpace launched in February 2006 and is an automotive lifestyle social networking Web site for anyone with an interest in automobiles. The company is headquartered in Santa Monica, California, and maintains a satellite office in suburban Detroit.

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