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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.

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Success Stories
  • Commercial assessment of a new immunotherapy

    Commercial assessment of a new immunotherapy


    We conducted secondary research to explore the current sepsis market and the current and future competitive landscape.


    As part of due diligence on a potential in-licensing target, we were asked to provide an independent expert view on the commercial potential for an innovative treatment for severe sepsis.

    This required us to:

    • assess the size of the targeted severe sepsis population, diagnosis and treatment rate
    • understand the current treatment patterns, unmet needs and expectations and opportunities for new treatments
    • review the current and future competitive landscape
    • test potential target product profiles
    • develop potential pricing, access and uptake scenarios for the different target product profiles(TPPs)
    • establish revenue potential based on the different scenarios
    • highlight the critical success factors and risks

    The geographic scope included France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK, the US and Japan.


    We conducted secondary research to explore the current sepsis market and the current and future competitive landscape. We then undertook primary research with payers and key opinion leaders to address any gaps in our research, to test potential TPPs and to gain external validation on potential pricing, access and uptake scenarios.


    We delivered our top-line findings on the critical areas for commercial success in an executive presentation. In addition, we supplied a detailed report of the research findings, including feedbackabout the actions the client should take to maximize the commercial potential of the asset.

    Click here to download our success story

    Timothy A J Fitzgerald
  • Driving informed investment decisions for a new treatment

    Driving informed investment decisions for a new treatment


    We collected extensive information on disease prevalence, diagnosis and treatment guidelines and the pricing and reimbursement landscape through desk research in the EU5


    Before taking an in-licensing decision for a new drug targeting primary biliary cirrhosis and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, our client wanted to assess the commercial opportunity for the treatment. This required us to:

    • assess the size of the target population, the competitive landscape and the target product profile
    • evaluate the willingness to pay for new treatments, potential price opportunity, diagnosis and treatment rates, target treatment population size and likely market share
    • obtain actionable recommendations and a revenue forecast model to inform its decision


    We collected extensive information on disease prevalence, diagnosis and treatment guidelines and the pricing and reimbursement landscape through desk research in the EU5 (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK) and the USA.

    Then, we used this information to develop primary research materials, including prereading material and a discussion guide and subsequently interviewed key opinion leaders, physicians and payers in the scope markets.

    Finally, we built a forecast model based on realistic assumptions of market performance.


    Our final forecast model and report covered multiple scenarios for the drug we assessed.
    This enabled our client to make an informed investment decision.

    Click here to download our success story

    Timothy A J Fitzgerald
  • Simulating the future market for inflammatory disease biosimilars

    Simulating the future market for inflammatory disease biosimilars


    Our client wanted to help affiliates in eight countries to better understand the threats and opportunities this evolving competitive landscape will bring in the years ahead.


    Two opposing forces are shaping drug prices in the inflammatory disease market: the downwards pressure from biosimilars and upwards pricing aspirations of bio-betters. Our client wanted to help affiliates in eight countries to better understand the threats and opportunities this evolving competitive landscape will bring in the years ahead.


    We designed, planned and facilitated a series of country-specific, interactive war games tosimulate the evolution of the inflammatory disease market landscape over several cycles.

    These sessions helped to increase awareness and deliver insights to the pharma company’s affiliates in the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Sweden, Norway and Denmark. We also identified strategies and tactics, including risk mitigation, to maximizecommercial success in the target markets.


    We delivered country-specific reports to our client’s affiliate teams to help them understand how pricing and market dynamics are likely to evolve in the years ahead. In addition, we synthesized the lessons from each war game into a Europe-wide learning package.

    Our client now has a consolidated set of learnings that are helping them validate the opportunities for, and threats to, their European strategy.

    Click here to download our success story

    Timothy A J Fitzgerald
  • Building better wind storm models with geodata

    Building better wind storm models with geodata

    Bruchsal, 20.09.2016

    A risk modeling company needed reliable boundary and market data to create and validate its windstorm model for Europe. Constructing geographically precise risk models is essential to predicting financial risk for the insurance and reinsurance companies that use our client’s services.


    A risk modeling company needed reliable boundary and market data to create and validate its windstorm model for Europe. Constructing geographically precise risk models is essential to predicting financial risk for the insurance and reinsurance companies that use our client’s services.


    The company incorporated our postcode boundaries for Europe as well as our demographic and purchasing power data into its windstorm model. This data combines several key metrics with consistent vintage, resolution and geospatial reference data.
    Our postcode boundaries offer a reliable geographic basis for locating, linking and analyzing the data related to the model. Meanwhile, our market data delivers insights about demographics and relative wealth in the regions covered by the model.


    The geodata enabled our client to build a European windstorm model with detailed insights on windstorm-related risks for its customers. Insurers use this model for scenario planning and probabilistic analyses. Our data was a key resource for our client’s industry exposure database, which offers a detailed description of natural catastrophe risk for every postcode in Europe.

    Click here to download our success story

    Building better wind storm models with geodata
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  • 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.

Latest insights

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

    • 08/17/16
    • Technology
    • Automotive
    • User Experience (UX)
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    Building on Elon Musk’s master plan: Payment systems and the future of automotive

    In a recent Let’s Talk Payments article, I discussed Elon Musk’s recently published Master Plan part 2 that outlines his vision for the future of Tesla, which now includes the acquisition and merger of Solar City. In my article I pointed out the disappointing omission of an in-vehicle payments platform from Musk’s plan. Therefore, I took it upon myself to update Musk’s master plan part 2 to include a necessary fifth item about payments, which many automotive companies are already working on but have yet to fully develop. The new plan looks like this:
    1. Create stunning solar roofs with seamlessly integrated battery storage
    2. Expand the electric vehicle product line to address all major segments
    3. Develop a self-driving capability that is ten times safer than manual via massive fleet learning
    4. Enable your car to make money for you when you aren’t using it
    5. Install an operating system that allows your car to pay for things using a digital wallet

    The need for in-vehicle payment systems

    Connecting the vehicles we drive with our surroundings is universally believed to be the future of the automobile.  The use cases for including a payments platform across passenger vehicles, heavy duty trucks, buses and semis are many; parking, tolls, fuel/charging, maintenance, car washes, the drive-through and even for use by an advanced digital assistant to help with booking reservations, hotels, etc.  Thus alleviating the need to find and locate a credit or debit card and read the numbers over the phone which would in-turn make vehicles safer. With the inclusion of the sharing economy as #4 on Musk’s to-do list, coupled with the fact that Musk’s fleet of solar electric vehicles will be autonomous, e.g. self-driving, this leaves plenty of opportunity to plan, shop and make purchases while in route. And with the rest of the automotive world including Ford, Honda, Mercedes and potentially Apple working on autonomous and electric cars, wouldn’t a seamless payments capability be a differentiator for Tesla’s vehicle; further increasing Musk’s lead from the pack of other automakers?

    Making auto-based payments invaluable

    To make an in-vehicle payment system superior and encourage usage over an app on a phone, the user experience must be superior.  Integrating customer needs with functionality and simplicity that trumps mobile app usage will go a long way to making the vehicle the payment method of choice among consumers. And although Musk shuns market research, these types of design and usability preferences can be easily determined through a well-designed user experience research program. The value proposition of including an in-vehicle payments platform may be lost on consumers today, but in the future it will be a table stake, much like cruise control and blue tooth capability. By getting there first, Musk could dominate and create yet another competitive advantage for Tesla. Whether or not Musk finds a payments platform too detailed for inclusion in his master plan is yet to be seen, I’m still waiting to hear back from him. Tim Spenny is Senior Vice President on the Financial Services team at GfK. He can be reached at

    Learn about mobile payment adoption

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    • 06/28/16
    • Automotive
    • Brand and Customer Experience
    • Global
    • English

    Improving market impact by testing brand strength

    We helped our client understand ways of improving its brand relationships with its target audience.
    • 06/28/16
    • Automotive
    • User Experience (UX)
    • Global
    • English

    Testing the vehicle interfaces of tomorrow

    We help a European automaker conduct user experience and usability research for its navigation and infotainment systems.
    • 05/20/16
    • Technology
    • Automotive
    • Global
    • 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 1GfK Consumer Life (Roper Reports®)
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