Car buyers around the world have different opinions on their next vehicle choice, according to an international survey by Arthur D Little researchers.
The report entitled ‘The Future Of Automotive Mobility’ based on a survey of over 8,500 end customers in 13 countries shows that global automotive markets are currently at crossroads.
While the study identifies that the internal combustion engine still dominates the market, many vehicle owners are weighing up the pros and cons of going electric – as a result, there is confusion about where the automotive sector is heading and at what speed.
Whereas ADL’s previous Global Automotive Mobility Study in 2018 depicted a ‘business as usual’ industry only just taking its first steps towards electric, the mobility landscape three years later is markedly different.
For example, there has been a dramatic change in both demand for cars and how ownership of them is perceived – while the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the protection and independence that a private car offers, a significant number of people are contemplating giving them up for environmental reasons and embracing alternative transport solutions.
The auto industry’s 2% compound annual growth rate is much less than ADL’s last survey predicted.
The study also shows that the move away from petrol and diesel fueled vehicles is real and growing stronger – asked about their next vehicle, 29% of survey respondents favored a hybrid product, while 12% were considering the move to pure electric.
If established brands don’t provide an EV offering, many of their customers are ready to migrate to other manufacturers. However, market growth is hampered by both limited model range and an immature charging infrastructure, with vehicle range still dictated by the availability of public charging points.
One of the study’s most intriguing findings is the emergence of China as a ‘special market’ with markedly different attitudes to consumers in the rest of the world.
For instance, while excitement over self-driving autonomous vehicles has dimmed in both Europe and the US due to safety fears, 71% of Chinese drivers remain positive about using such vehicles.
They are also more adventurous in trying new powertrains, mobility services, and even purchase options – 71% of drivers in China would be willing to buy a car wholly online, against 35% in Europe and 42% in the US.
Given the size of China’s domestic market, these attitudes could have significant implications for the global automotive industry.