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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.

GfK, Norway
GfK, Norway
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Discover latest industry insights, market data and how Auto and Consumer trends will affect your business.

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

    • 05/20/16
    • Technology
    • Automotive
    • Norway
    • 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®)
    • 04/27/16
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Automotive
    • Consumer Goods
    • Connected Consumer
    • Norway
    • English

    Connected Consumer Index

    GfK’s Connected Consumer Index 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. 
    • 03/09/17
    • Automotive
    • User Experience (UX)
    • Global
    • English

    How to define engaging experiences in self-driving cars

    Autonomous vehicles have the potential to disrupt everything we know about driving. Earlier this year, I attended a panel discussion regarding the advancements in autonomous driving at the 2017 Consumer and Electronics Show (CES). One conclusion from this session was that it is no longer a question of “if”, but “when” autonomous vehicles will become part of our lives.

    A blank canvas for auto manufacturers

    With no need for a steering wheel, accelerator, or brake pedals, the interior of a car becomes a blank canvas. So, how will companies shape this canvas while keeping the user at the forefront? For example, if a passenger wanted to work on their commute, a car could be customized into an office space with a desk and internet connection. Prefer to relax and recharge after a long day? A car could offer features like a massage chair or a big screen TV. And, in the case of ridesharing, a different car could be called up to fit the user’s mood. The car has the potential to become a “third-space”, a space to be used for more than a way to get to where you are going.

    Understanding the types of experiences consumers want

    UX research methods such as ethnography will help manufacturers understand what types of experiences consumers want to have in-car, and how to deliver them in a way that engages and delights. Ethnography helps designers, engineers, and researchers build empathy by taking them out of the lab and placing them in real world situations users face every day. We employ this approach to uncover insights while observing common tasks side-by-side with participants. This method uncovers behaviors and insights that wouldn’t be revealed in any other form of research, and allows us to truly see the world from the user’s perspective. These insights allow us to develop use-case scenarios and solutions that are both nuanced and relevant.

    Standing apart as the landscape evolves

    As the autonomous vehicle landscape evolves, manufacturers who are able to create truly exceptional in-car experiences will stand apart. The first step to delivering exceptional consumer experiences is understanding what consumers expect and need – and how they should be delivered. Through direct observation, ethnography has the power to uncover this. The question is, which auto manufacturer will be the first to get it right? hbspt.cta.load(2405078, 'dd7ac318-b881-41bc-b61d-84467be53b2d', {});
    • 03/02/17
    • Automotive
    • Global
    • English

    Vehicle features and the importance of having the latest driver technology

    While safety, reliability, fuel economy and low running costs top the list of what people see as being ‘very important’ in a vehicle, over a third (36%) of those surveyed online rank having the latest driver technology in the same regards.  Driver technology includes steering or parking assist, adaptive cruise control, and keyless entry or ignition. Over a quarter (28%) of the online population also ranked having the latest passenger technology, which includes audio or video streaming and social network connectivity, as ‘very important’ to them.

    Where driver and passenger technology is most important

    Out of the 17 countries surveyed, Brazil, China and Korea have the highest percentages overall of people saying that the latest driver technology is ‘very important’ to them. China, Brazil and Mexico, meanwhile, have the highest percentages of people rating the latest passenger technology as ‘very important’. “The value of these findings for vehicle manufacturers lies in being able to assess precisely which features different consumer segments say appeal most to them – and adjust marketing content and product development to match those aspirations”, said Global Head of Automotive Research, Siegfried Hoegl. “By combining this attitudinal data with analysis of actual sales across different markets and consumer segments, or insights from running in-depth car clinics, we help our clients to fine-tune their customer insights to the maximum extent – both globally and at country specific level.”

    Vehicle technology importance and the role of income

    A notable difference in the responses was found when breaking down the results by income. In the highest income range (the top quarter of the total income in each country), 44% see the latest driver technology as ‘very important’, compared to the bottom quarter income band, which had 30%.  A similar dip was seen across income quartiles for the importance of passenger technology as well. In fact, income had an effect on what people see as important for a range of features, including the quality of workmanship, a comfortable and spacious interior, a powerful engine and the reputation of the manufacturer.  However, other areas such as the fuel economy and environmental friendliness had much more even results across income ranges. About the study GfK conducted the online survey with over 22,000 consumers aged 15 or older across 17 countries. Fieldwork was completed in summer 2016. Data are weighted to reflect the demographic composition of the online population aged 15+ in each market. Countries covered are Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Russia, South Korea, Spain, UK and USA. hbspt.cta.load(2405078, 'af3661c9-e2be-4ca7-9cad-398f48f53330', {});
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.

  • Mystery Shopping

    Mystery Shopping

    Consumers face a complex array of brand touch points every day of their lives. To deliver a consistent brand experience, marketers need to know how consumers are actually experiencing their brand. Our mystery shoppers give you all the help you need to understand these experiences, and respond to them to maximize the return for your business.

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Krister Wendin
Sweden
+46 104 553 662
GfK, Norway
GfK, Norway
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