Infotainment a key feature even on ‘green’ cars

While interest in alternative vehicles may be growing, consumers do not see ‘green’ as the only purchasing factor and are demanding more from automakers, according to an Accenture study.

Accenture’s survey showed that six out of 10 consumers are more likely to buy a hybrid or electric vehicle only when it is superior to gasoline-only models in every way, so while automakers are increasingly focused on addressing the demand for greater fuel efficiency and economy they should also address those areas that continue to influence the consumer. ‘Green’ is not enough by itself.

In-vehicle services which satisfy different customer needs including commerce, entertainment, safety, maintenance, communication and infomobility (i.e., navigation) will not only be key influences on consumer choice but will also play a key factor in the development of more fuel efficient vehicles.

“Our study suggests that while consumers are increasingly embracing and understanding the value of alternative vehicles they still want models that represent a new phase in the evolution of the automobile. In-vehicle services will play a key part in this and car manufacturers have an opportunity now to ramp up their capabilities in this area to achieve competitive differentiation.” said Luca Mentuccia, managing director of Accenture’s Automotive group. “Both OEMs and suppliers need to start building strategic partnerships that will lead to distinctive capabilities, particularly around safety, environmental protection and entertainment.”

The study was based upon market research and an online survey conducted by Accenture of 1,850 consumers in five countries, including Germany, France, Italy, the United States and Canada in February 2010. The respondents ranged in age from 18 to 61 years and over, and were a near even split between male (52 percent) and female (48 percent) consumers.

Source: Accenture.

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