Independent global researcher, GfK, has released findings showing which vehicle features, from a given list, people see as being ‘very important’ in a vehicle.
Hygiene factors of safety in an accident, reliability, fuel economy and low running costs naturally top of the list. However, significant numbers state that the latest driver technology and passenger technology is ‘very important’ to them – and the percentage of people claiming this increases notably with income.
Over a third (36 percent) of the online population across 17 countries see having the latest driver technology in a vehicle (e.g., steering or parking assist, adaptive cruise control, keyless entry or ignition) as ‘very important’, and over a quarter (28 percent) say the same for the latest passenger technology (audio or video streaming, social network connectivity, etc.).
Importance of vehicle technology increases with income
Looking at these results by income – i.e. breaking each countries’ earners down into quartiles – there is notable difference in the numbers that say having the latest technology in their vehicle is ‘very important’. On average, 44 percent of people in the high income quartile (the top quarter of the total income in each country), see the latest driver tech as ‘very important’, compared to just 30 percent of people in the low income quartile (the bottom quarter of total income within each country). Likewise, for the latest passenger tech, 35 percent of those in the high income quartile say it’s very important, versus 22 percent on those in the low income quartile.
The effect of income on what people see as important in their vehicle is seen across a range of features, not just the vehicle technology – in particular the quality of workmanship, a comfortable interior, a spacious interior, a powerful engine, the reputation of the manufacturer. In other areas such as the fuel economy or environmentally friendly, the results are much more even across all income bands.
Driver technology is most important in Brazil, China and Korea
Brazil (48 percent), China (43 percent) and Korea (42 percent) have the highest overall percentages saying that the latest driver technology is ‘very important’. And for the latest passenger technology, China (37 percent), Brazil (36 percent) and Mexico (30 percent) have the highest percentages saying it is ‘very important’.
Siegfried Hoegl, GfK’s Global Head of Automotive Research, comments, “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. 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.”
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.