While consumers became noticeably more frugal as a result of the recession, car buyers are beginning to swing the pendulum back toward quality as their top concern. According to a survey conducted by CarMax, 45 percent of Americans who have purchased a vehicle say quality has the greatest impact on their vehicle purchase decisions, followed by price and safety, respectively. Fifty-three percent of men and 37 percent of women chose quality over value, while resale and environmental factors were among the least important considerations, at seven and six percent, respectively "Choosing a vehicle that balances high quality with a fair price provides the value that consumers are looking for," said Tracy Hanson, a vice president of service operations at CarMax. "It's why our vehicles go through a rigorous inspection and are thoroughly reconditioned." The survey reflects a number of recent improvements in the auto industry, namely in the form of financing and delinquency trends. Bloomberg reported last week that auto sales in the U.S. are on track to be the highest in three years.