There is no question that the automotive industry is evolving at a rapid pace. Electric cars are on the rise, and a whole new world of autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles are starting to appear on roadways around the world.
A recent Cars Online report released by Capgemini sheds light on where consumers see the industry going in the near future, with over 8,000 consumers across eight countries were surveyed for the report.
With the boon of ridesharing services giving riders an alternative to purchasing their own vehicle, a surprising 34% of those surveyed stated that they saw these services as a genuine alternative to car ownership. After all, if your car payment would cost you more monthly than you would spend on ridesharing services, these services would become a more appealing choice to budget-conscious consumers.
Autonomous vehicles adding value
This result adds credibility to another report released recently by RethinkX that predicts that by 2030 as much as 95% of the passenger vehicles on United States roadways would be autonomous and owned by a fleet rather than a private consumer. Uber, most notably, is already working on a plan to replace at least some of its human drivers with autonomous vehicles.
This means, of course, less consumer-purchased cars. If fifteen people are getting around just fine on a shared vehicle, then that’s fourteen fewer cars being sold.
Kai Grambow, Global Head of Automotive at Capgemini, said: “We are currently experiencing a golden age of car sales, however, it’s clear that this won’t last forever in its current form. Car brands are realizing they need to react to changing consumer habits to sustain growth.”
There is some hope, however. In the Cars Online report, a promising 56% of those polled said that car-hailing and ride-sharing services were complementary to buying a new car, rather than an outright replacement.
Some interesting strategies come to light for car manufacturers looking to maintain their competitive edge in an evolving market. For one, ride-sharing services could be an excellent marketing tool for these companies. Consumers that enjoy a ride they received in a particular make/model vehicle are more likely to consider it when it comes time to buy their own new car.
An incredible 81% of people polled stated they are willing to pay more for autonomous-driving features. Brands like Tesla and Mercedes are wowing consumers with their intelligent driving assistance features, often paying a significant markup for the high-end vehicles these technologies are included with.
Brands like Ford, Chevrolet, Hyundai, Infinity, Volvo, and Subaru are also starting to roll out vehicles with driver-assist capabilities for anyone willing to pay a little more for its convenience. As the price of this feature goes down, more consumers will be tempted to hop on board.
A cautious consumer market?
Tech brands like Apple sound like natural fits for autonomous vehicles. It’s the role of these brands to extend their reach into new markets. Apple did this when it entered the phone market in 2007, and the consumer market was no less hesitant to trust their communication to a brand that had never before produced a mobile phone… until they saw it in action.
Among the people polled, 51% said they would trust an established automotive manufacturer’s autonomous car over a brand that had never before produced a vehicle before.
The automotive industry is changing in a big way right now. Consumers have more choice in how their vehicle works and what features they want it to have than ever before. Decades ago automatic windows and air conditioning were the big selling points that set vehicles apart. Today, it’s how autonomous you want your driving experience to be, and whether or not you want to fuel up at a gas station or an electric outlet.
The Cars Online survey was conducted in January of 2017 and included representation from Brazil, China, France, Germany, Italy, India, the United Kingdom, and the United States.