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More than half of Brazilian drivers are ready to embrace the connected car: but what do they want?

by Meire Waki , 07.05.2015

The connected car will be a reality within a few years, as enhanced safety, economy and entertainment become standard features of new vehicles. So how do Brazilians feel about the car of the future?

In this extensive global project carried out at the end of 2014, we interviewed 5,800 consumers in six key markets – Brazil, Germany, China, Russia the UK and USA – to find out what the future really looks like for consumers, automotive manufacturers and the wider supply chain. We asked Brazilians about their attitudes towards driving now and their thoughts about expected future innovations.

Brazilian drivers along with Chinese and Russian drivers feel slightly more positive about driving than German, American and British drivers. Even so, they do have driving concerns and more than half would consider connected car solutions to help alleviate these.

Brazilians are “happy” drivers but still have worries

Despite almost two thirds (62%) of Brazilian drivers being happy about driving, getting behind the wheel does have its pain points. The top pain points for Brazilians relate to car safety and security. For almost half (46%), car security or theft is their chief concern – followed by being involved in an accident (42%) and dangerous or aggressive driving (32%). However, expensive oil and gas (32%) as well as being stuck in traffic is also a worry for 32%.

There are some differences for Leading Edge Consumers - a group of early adopters and influential consumers. The research shows that for this audience, car theft and security, and car damage at the roadside rank higher than for all consumers, whilst the cost of insurance is less of a worry.

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What Brazilians want from a connected car

Safety/security and expense are not only prime concerns, but drive what Brazilian’s need and want from a car. When considering what they want from a connected car, they rank fuel efficiency as their number one consideration, followed by value for money, durability, safety, security and accident prevention – all of which they rank as equally important. The high performance and fitting to personality were pointed out as the least important drivers, evidencing that self-gratification is not priority to the Brazilians.

When we look at Security, Gratification, Well being and Freedom as an index, we can see which features meet key areas of need. Safety features will become standard hygiene factors, so it’s important for brands to understand which other attributes meet consumer needs. Here Freedom and Well being rank highly – making Brazil the only market where Well being is considered as almost as important as Security and Freedom.

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Of the seven new concepts that the connected car offers, Brazilian drivers rank “Ultra Safe” as most important (a car that connects with other cars and has integrated safety cameras). On the opposite side, the concept that is considered the least attractive is the “Life Manager” (a car that connects with the other devices at home – like doors, light, refrigerator – to make life easier). The popular concept “Autonomous Driving” is still not well consolidated in the consumer´s mind, as it is the concept that generates anxiety and sense of powerlessness, as the driver is not in control of the car. Even the Leading Edge Consumers will need more time to get used this idea.

Knowing that Brazilians are safety and cost conscious provides opportunities for manufacturers of connected car vehicles that can meet those needs.

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Meire Waki is Regional Lead Automotive for Latam at GfK.

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