2018 Global Automotive Consumer Study

Digital customer engagement

For more than 100 years, the automotive business model has remained generally unchanged: people own cars that they can drive themselves. We are witnessing major trends that, taken individually, could be highly disruptive to the state of the industry. Technological and behavioural aspects are among a long list of critical forces that will shape how the automotive market evolves over the next 10 to 20 years.

Available now is the 2018 Global Automotive Consumer Study which focuses on Digital Customer Engagement. Coming soon is the UK and European 2018 Automotive Consumer Study. 

Consumers have a brighter outlook on the safety of autonomous vehicles, though concerns remain. Significantly fewer people in the 2018 study feel that autonomous cars will not be safe, with less than half (47 percent) of U.S. consumers holding this view — a dramatic decrease from 2017, when 74 percent felt autonomous vehicles would not be safe.

This view is consistent with other countries covered in the study, including: South Korea (54 percent this year vs. 81 percent last year), Germany (45 percent vs. 72 percent), and France (37 percent vs. 65 percent) who feel driverless cars may not be safe. The most notable change comes from China, where the percentage of people who think autonomous cars will not be safe dropped from 62 percent in 2017 to only 26 percent in this year’s study.

2017 UK Automotive Consumer Study: Future of automotive technologies

Key findings

  • Enthusiasm for fully autonomous vehicles has flattened in the UK over the past two years.
  • Younger generations are willing to pay for advanced technology features.
  • Safety remains a priority. When consumers were asked to consider 32 features of advanced vehicle technologies, their top five all related to safety and incident prevention.
  • Consumers trust traditional car manufacturers to bring self-driving technology to market.
  • Consumers fear vehicle-hacking can cause risk to their safety. However, 68 percent of consumers would readily share data with car makers if they received significant benefits in return.

Forces are changing the mobility landscape and affording consumers more choices in meeting their transportation needs. For automotive companies, these shifting consumer demands result in a number of complex questions that may ultimately impact their products and how they engage with their customers.


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