This study discusses US consumers’ preference to pay for driving dynamics systems and technologies that can be leveraged to transform the business for automotive participants. As the automotive industry is facing narrowing margins, the need to keep the customer committed to the brand for their next purchase is paramount. This can be achieved by creating an experience across the lifetime of the customer's ownership through preferred driving dynamics features. The need for manufacturers is to look beyond seeing themselves as just product suppliers and start focusing on creating new identity as per the expectation of consumers in the market. Automotive manufacturers are focusing keenly on building preferred driving dynamics system in their cars. To match the market expectation, it becomes essential for OEMs to understand the consumers’ willingness to pay for certain features, which will enable OEMs to build cars that can change the form and function compared with what is being offered now and also help them to accelerate their transformation capability in the areas of emerging consumer preferences to gain competitive edge in the market. Changing consumers’ preferences toward various features of driving dynamics might have an impact on OEMs when choosing the partner to co-develop systems and technologies. Hence, OEMs should keep a close track of customer preferences to stay competitive.
Few observations on consumers’ preferences based on the survey conducted are that subcompact car buyers are keen on seeing additional features in the upcoming versions and willing to pay a higher price for the new capabilities, while luxury vehicle owners and younger buyers give more importance to personalization, telematics (safety and security) and infotainment features. Steering, braking, suspension, wheels & tires, and driveline are the systems that will have a significant influence on driving dynamic features of the cars. Apart from these important features of driving dynamics, reliability and safety will be the top motivators of next vehicle purchase decision among the consumers, particularly for women and senior drivers. It is also observed that regardless of engineering viability or actual reliable advantages of vehicle features, consumers’ decision to buy the next vehicle is also based on their perceived needs and their perception of the benefits of those features. To cater to the growing expectations of the consumers in the US market, it becomes unavoidable for the automotive manufacturers and suppliers to expand their portfolio to offer in-car convenience based on the buyers preferences.
Key questions this study will answer:
• What are the influential factors of the vehicle selection process and the importance of key vehicle attributes in the vehicle purchase decision?
• How is the importance of different driving dynamics systems and attributes perceived by the consumers?
• What are the preferences for driving dynamics systems: steering, braking, suspension, driveline, and integrated systems for driver assistance?
• What are the expectations, concerns, performance requirements, and technology/feature preferences for different systems: steering, braking, suspension, driveline, and integrated systems for driver assistance?
• What is the purchase likelihood and penetration of different systems and technologies in the future?