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.