New Car “Intenders” Anxious to Own Smart-Equipped Vehicles Often Underestimate Costs

Tolerance for incremental spending of over $2,500 is low – GfK

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–With sophisticated digital and smart technologies generating
headlines for automakers, many consumers are beginning to consider these
devices and services as essential equipment for their own cars.

But GfK research shows that people who see smart auto technologies as
“must haves” still may have misconceptions about what they will might

The GfK AutoMobility™ Auto Tech Insights 2019 report provides a broad
look at the desires and concerns of new car “intenders” – those who plan
to buy a new vehicle in the next six months – when it comes to smart
devices and services. GfK is a leader in the automotive research space;
its AutoMobility study is based on over 250,000 in-depth interviews each
year. The Auto Tech Insights report is drawn from research among over
1,000 intenders interviewed during the AutoMobility research.

For seven key emerging auto technologies measured – from Autonomous
Vehicles to Augmented Reality – GfK found that only small proportions of
intenders who see the technologies as “must haves” would be willing to
pay $2,500 or more for them. (See Table 1.)

Table 1. Auto tech “must haves” hope for smaller price tags

        Considered a “must have”       “Must have” & would pay under $500       “Must have” & would pay $500 to $2.5K       “Must have” & would pay $2.5K+
Active Safety Tech       49%       19%       22%       7%
Connected Vehicle       40%       18%       17%       5%
Infotainment Systems       33%       15%       13%       6%
Electric Vehicles       30%       7%       14%       8%
Autonomous Vehicles       25%       7%       12%       7%
Wellness Solutions       22%       8%       8%       6%
Augmented Reality       22%       7%       10%       5%

To be read: 49% of new car intenders consider Active Safety
Tech a must-have for their next cars; 19% of intenders would pay up to
$500 for this feature.

For example, 30% of intenders consider an Electric Vehicle a “must have”
– but only one-quarter (8%) of those enthusiasts would pay an
incremental cost of $2,500 or more for one. Similarly, 25% say an
Autonomous Vehicle is essential for them – but only one-quarter (7%) see
$2,500 or more as the right incremental price; in fact, the same
proportion (7%) expects to pay less than $500.

In addition, close to half of intenders who are sold on the idea of an
in-vehicle Infotainment System or a Connected Vehicle say they want to
pay under $500 for the capability.

GfK also found that male intenders are more likely to consider smart
vehicle tech as a “must have.” Men planning to buy a new car are twice
as likely, for example, to see Autonomous Vehicles and Augmented Reality
as essential, compared to female intenders. In addition, male intenders
are almost twice as likely to view Infotainment Systems and Electric
Vehicles as “must haves.”

Lack of understanding may be an issue

The fact that some consumers may not understand the actual prices of
auto technologies may be part of a larger lack of clarity about the
space. GfK found, for example, that one-third to three-quarters of new
car intenders say they know little or nothing about these in-vehicle
technologies. Two-thirds (69%) say they “have not heard of” or “don’t
know much about” Augmented Reality, for example, and close to half say
the same about Autonomous Vehicles (48%) and Active Safety Technology

Among the generations, Baby Boomer intenders (ages 55 and up) are the
most likely to report knowing little or nothing about these device and
services, with levels up to 26 percentage points higher than the general
population. (See Table 2.) Gen X intenders (ages 39 to 54) are
generally more in line with the national averages, while Gen Y (ages 21
to 38) has the lowest levels of awareness.

Table 2. Many consumers know little or nothing about key auto

        Total       Gen Y       Gen X       Boomers
Wellness solutions       76%       61%       74%       89%
Augmented reality       69%       57%       70%       82%
Infotainment systems       57%       54%       60%       58%
Autonomous vehicles       48%       43%       44%       55%
Active safety tech       47%       43%       45%       49%
Connected vehicle       44%       38%       44%       50%
Electric vehicles       33%       31%       34%       35%

About GfK

GfK connects data and science. Innovative research solutions provide
answers for key business questions around consumers, markets, brands and
media – now and in the future. As a research and analytics partner, GfK
promises its clients all over the world “Growth from Knowledge.”

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David Stanton
VP, MarComms
T 908 875 9844

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