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Smart Insights: Automotive

The global automotive industry is facing change on two fronts: a shifting industry landscape of emerging markets and increasing environmental regulations, and evolving consumer behavior and expectations.

To remain competitive, automotive manufacturers and retailers need industry insights that provide clear direction on today’s markets and the consumer demands of tomorrow.  

Our automotive market research experts deliver smart insights across all areas: From optimizing new concepts and product design (for example through car clinics), identifying precise actions to improve car brand perception or experiences, to tracking automotive aftersales.

DAT cooperation

Deutsche Automobil Treuhand GmbH (DAT) and the market research company GfK are cooperating in the field of vehicle data. The aim of the cooperation is to create new products for various stakeholders in the automotive industry, as well as for end consumers. For the first time, this cooperation will enable the two market research companies to offer vehicle data over the entire life cycle of a vehicle. Data will consist of vehicle information prior to market introduction, data regarding configuration of new vehicles, valuations for used cars, repair cost calculations, and data on vehicle recycling.

The cooperation between both companies shall initially cover four fields:
New cars, used cars, fleet business, after-sales retail.

Read more about the DAT and GfK cooperation

Success Stories
  • Evolving a luxury car brand in Europe

    Evolving a luxury car brand in Europe

    12.11.2015

    GfK rolled out a brand tracking program for an auto manufacturer that wanted to improve brand relationships with consumers.

    The client is a manufacturer of luxury vehicles.

    Situation

    This carmaker has been struggling to command brand presence in the media and in consumers’ minds in the largest European markets for premium motor cars.

    Approach

    We implemented a brand tracking program in Spain, Germany, France, Italy and the UK for this client. Our purchase funnel model gave it rich insight into the car buyer’s decision-making process. Applying our ConX methodology, we evaluated the vehicle manufacturer’s customer experience at various touchpoints. This painted a picture of how negative, positive and memorable these brand experiences were from the consumer’s perspective. The GfK Brand Vivo methodology underpinned our analysis. It uses human relationships as metaphors for the connection between brands and consumers.

    Outcome

    Our solution enabled our client to track brand performance in its most important markets over a year. We found that its investments in marketing yielded an improvement in short-term funnel performance. However, it was not yet succeeding in strengthening longer-term relationships with consumers. We recommended that the client evolve its marque in the following ways:

    • Increase branding in all marketing activities
    • Focus on shifting the technocratic tone of its communications to a more emotional one.

    Click here to download the success story.

  • Social media: Separating customer sentiment from the noise

    Social media: Separating customer sentiment from the noise

    14.09.2015

    The GfK Social Media Intelligence solution helped our client to understand customer sentiment about a new car model, allowing it to sharpen its marketing approach.

    Our client is a major car manufacturer with a strong presence in India.

    Situation

    The Internet – including social media – plays a major role in influencing car purchase decisions among India’s 120 million-plus Internet users. This Indian automotive manufacturer wanted to monitor and measure social media sentiment about a new car model so that it could improve its marketing effectiveness.

    Approach

    We used our Social Media Intelligence (SMI) solution over five months to monitor and analyze social media conversations about the new car. Our approach combined automated tools with human insight to ensure accurate interpretation of social media content.
    “Human coding” – using skilled people to clean and categorize social data – enabled us to derive real insight from the data and posts we collected.

    Outcome

    The data we gathered and the analysis we conducted allowed us to map trends and sentiment about the new car into a clear understanding of the model’s online reputation. We cut through the noise of the social web to provide our client with actionable insights. From these insights we provided various recommendations, which included a focus on using the right channels to communicate to different audiences (users and influencers, for example) with appropriate messaging.

    Click here to download the success story.

  • Actionable ideas enhance SUV launch campaign

    Actionable ideas enhance SUV launch campaign

    03.09.2015

    GfK helped this car manufacturer to understand consumer responses to its upcoming TV campaign in preparation for a new product launch.

    The client is one of Europe’s leading auto manufacturers.

    Situation

    This auto manufacturer was preparing for the worldwide launch of its new sports utility vehicle (SUV). It wanted to pretest its television brand campaign with consumers in key territories to understand its brand effect as well as its cognitive and emotional impact.

    Approach

    We took a thorough approach to this engagement, using our proprietary EMO Scan (www.gfk.com/emoscan) and EMO Sensor methodologies to gauge consumers’ emotional response to the adverts as well as asking them in-depth questions about their thoughts and feelings regarding the commercials. Our representative sample of the target market for the new vehicle comprised 406 drivers in the United States, Germany and China.

    Outcome

    Our research helped our client grasp how successful its television commercials were in achieving its campaign goals around brand fit, message transfer, memorability, clarity, and emotional and cognitive impact.

    The client learned a great deal about how consumers responded to each advertisement scene-by-scene, including the imagery, storyline and music. The study gave the client actionable ideas that helped it optimize its campaign to drive a more successful launch for the new SUV.

    Click here to download the success story.

  • Helping car dealers enhance the customer experience

    Helping car dealers enhance the customer experience

    12.08.2015

    Our GfK Echo transaction-based customer satisfaction solution empowers a car manufacturer to pursue its goal of becoming one of the country’s top three in automotive customer satisfaction.

    This company is one of the largest car manufacturers in the UK.

    Situation

    The client wanted to relaunch its sales and service survey and online reporting output, along with a website that:

    • is easy for dealers to use
    • supports the real-time upload of individual customer feedback
    • allows for immediate communication of hot alert responses to the dealer network

    Approach

    Our client launched new surveys in multiple languages across 18 markets in January 2013. It adopted our GfK Echo transaction-based customer satisfaction solution to help its dealers make sense of the survey data. We worked with the client to release the GfK Echo portal in 12 languages to 4,400 users at 2,800 dealers worldwide. We provided training materials to support the launch.

    Outcome

    Dealers can see at a glance how they are performing, through dashboards on the GfK Echo portal. Our client uses data from the portal to improve its performance by taking instant action based on real-time customer feedback. Management users can view and compare results across the dealer network. Our client plans to extend the survey into 22 more markets.

    Click here to download the full success story.

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Solutions
  • User Experience (UX)

    User Experience (UX)

    Our user experience (UX) research and design experts help our clients create and improve customer experiences for existing or new products and services

    Today’s consumer is bombarded with promises for compelling experiences. They are sophisticated and demanding.  To be successful, a new product or service needs to be intuitive, usable, engaging and desirable. The user experience needs to be emotional in order to be memorable.

  • Market Opportunities and Innovation (MOI)

    Market Opportunities and Innovation (MOI)

    Brands are under constant pressure to maintain relevance in an increasingly crowded market. Identifying when, where and how to deliver compelling experiences that deliver new value for both consumers and brands is critical.

  • Trends & Forecasting

    Trends & Forecasting

    ​Today’s steady stream of new offerings and shortening product lifecycles place a unique pressure on businesses to stay ahead. Consumer purchasing behavior shifts more rapidly than ever.

  • Point of Sales Tracking

    Point of Sales Tracking

    Retailers and manufacturers are under pressure to develop products and services that maximize sales and profit and to keep customers coming back.

    Success relies on having the most up-to-date sales data, combined with robust analysis to understand which products and services are performing well in the market – and which are not. With this information, clients can set clear strategies for commercial growth and increase return on investment.

  • Digital Market Intelligence (DMI)

    Digital Market Intelligence (DMI)

    When consumers shop, search, communicate, gather information and engage with companies or brands online, they behave differently depending on which device or screen they are using. They expect a consistent experience regardless of the channel or device they are using.

  • Brand and Customer Experience (BaCE)

    Brand and Customer Experience (BaCE)

    Brands are under pressure to develop emotional connections and relationships with consumers and business decision makers.  Brands need to respond in-the-moment, to enrich the customer experience – and develop strategies that influence ”moments of truth” throughout individual brand journeys.  

  • Geomarketing

    Geomarketing

    Our geomarketing solutions and consultancy provide our clients with smart insights into location-specific factors that impact the success of business sites, shops, sales territories, target groups, as well as chain store and distribution networks.

Latest insights

Here you can find the latest insights for automotive industry. View all insights

    • 07/19/16
    • Fashion and Lifestyle
    • Home Appliances
    • Financial Services
    • Health
    • Media and Entertainment
    • Public Services
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Travel and Hospitality
    • Automotive
    • Consumer Goods
    • FMCG
    • Energy
    • Home and Living
    • Market Opportunities and Innovation
    • United Kingdom
    • English

    On - demand video now available! Finding Light: Latest Global Consumer Trends from GfK

    Join our GfK Consumer Life experts as they highlight key findings from our latest global trend survey in this on - demand webinar.
    • 07/08/16
    • Fashion and Lifestyle
    • Financial Services
    • Health
    • Media and Entertainment
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Travel and Hospitality
    • Automotive
    • Consumer Goods
    • FMCG
    • Energy
    • United Kingdom
    • English

    Brexit special: UK Consumer Confidence Landscape

    In a one- off special GfK Consumer Confidence Barometer (CCB) to measure post - referendum sentiment the core index has fallen 8 points to -9.
    • 05/20/16
    • Technology
    • Automotive
    • United Kingdom
    • English

    Think Big With These Five Guiding Principles of Innovation

    At last week’s Front End of Innovation (FEI) conference, Vijay Govindarajan of Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business and the author of The Three Box Solution said “The future comes to us in daily doses”.  This point was driven home for me in the recent announcement that came from GM and Lyft, about their plan to test autonomous self-driving cars as taxis as early as 2017.  Not only did this give us a glimpse into the not-so-distant future, but it is a great example of a business following our five guiding principles of innovation: Think big, Understand shifts, Look outside-in, Fuse trends, and Think about the “Perfect Storm”.

    Thinking Big: The driving factors behind Lyft’s innovation

    The most obvious fundamental force behind this announcement is the technology — because without that the dream of an autonomous car would simply be the stuff of science fiction.  However, technology itself is not the only factor.  Way back in 2000, a third of all Americans1 told us that they would be interested in a car that drives for you when you don’t feel like driving — clearly an early, weak signal that this type of technology was at least intriguing to consumers.

    The Perfect Storm: A market poised for growth

    The second (and also somewhat obvious) driver behind this announcement is the rapid expansion of the sharing, or access, economy.  Back in 2010, we told our clients that the “for now” economy – predicated on consumers’ increasing interest in experiences and liquidity and a shying away from ownership and long-term commitments – was poised for growth.  Flash forward to today and we have a world where 59% of global consumers have at least heard of the access economy1 (and 12% report that they have engaged in it). Lyft is one of the dominant players in this marketplace.

    Understanding Shifts: What the future will look like

    Perhaps not so obvious are some other fundamental forces.  By the year 2050, 70% of humankind is projected to live in urban areas1.  This is a huge driver with implications across a wide-range of platforms, not the least of which is related to transportation.  Beijing has already reported traffic jams lasting 3 days or more – what could those traffic jams look like when that urban population doubles from where it is today?  The need for more efficient ways to get from point A to point B is only going to grow.

    Looking Outside-In: Giving consumers what they want

    Another force is that of an aging population.  In most developed markets, we’ve been experiencing aging populations for more than a generation.  The real change is going to come in the future, when markets like China and India report their highest ever numbers of consumers age 65 and older.  Couple that with the trends of ‘aging my way’ and aging with vitality, and we see the opportunity for autonomous vehicles – ending the need for anyone to have their keys taken away due to physical or mental impairments.

    Fusing Trends with the Connected Consumer Index

    Lastly, constant connectivity, and the integration with technology that this implies, speaks to the underlying need for a business model of matching unmet needs of consumers in real time. We at GfK have recently launched our Connected Consumer Index, which provides a single measure covering how much, and on what devices, consumers in each of 78 countries and 8 world regions digitally connect with each other and with digital content. The market for Connected Cars has shown steady growth over the past three years, especially in the more developed markets like Hong Kong and North America. The news of this week does, to paraphrase William Gibson, prove that the future is already here, although not evenly distributed.  Following the five guiding principles of innovation is one way to make sure your business is on an even playing field. Please share your thoughts in the comments below or email me at kathy.sheehan@gfk.com. 1GfK Consumer Life (Roper Reports®)
    • 05/10/16
    • Automotive
    • Brand and Customer Experience
    • United Kingdom
    • English

    05/17/16 - 05/18/16
    GfK's Jack Bergquist is speaking at Telematics Berlin

    GfK is proud to partner with Telematics Berlin 2016. The conference brings together key industry innovators, leading OEMs and other important players from across the automotive value chain to discuss the current and future effects of data in the connected car.
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