The Strategist

Capgemini: Third of consumers are ready to fully switch to car sharing and mobile services

05/18/2017 - 15:33

Consulting company Capgemini has published a study on the impact of new technologies on consumer behavior when choosing, purchasing or owning a car. 34% of respondents told that such mobile services are a worthy substitute for private ownership of a car. Researchers believe that such changes in consumers' behavior should force automakers to change their strategy.

According to Capgemini’s recent study, called "Cars Online 2017 Beyond the Car", new technologies have significantly changed behavior of those consumers that choose, purchase or own a car. The authors interviewed about 8 thousand people in some developed and developing countries - the United States, Britain, Germany, France, Italy, China, India and Brazil.

Researchers noted that people are increasingly interested not only in new technologies in the machines themselves, but also in new technologies when choosing cars.

62% of respondents would like to have an opportunity to see a virtual presentation of the car, 43% - have an online chat with a showroom’s representative, and 36% - watch video blogs of those who already bought a particular type of a car. In addition, the researchers noted now fewer customers want to make their choice, relying, among other things, on visiting a dealer centre. In 2015, number of those who were ready to visit a showroom four or five times before the direct purchase was 24%. Now, the figure descended to 20%. At the same time, number of those who are less likely to visit a dealer centre before buying a car has grown to 67% from 59% in 2015.

People are greatly interested in new automobile technologies. For example, 81% of respondents are willing to pay for additional options of autonomous or auxiliary driving. There is growing interest in the cybersecurity of automotive software - only a third of respondents questioned this problem two years ago, and the current figure is already 68%.

At the same time, new technologies themselves threaten the car market in its traditional form, that is, private ownership rights. New mobile services, such as online taxi service Uber or carsharing BlaBlaCar, allow people to completely abandon personal ownership of a car. 34% of respondents said that such mobile services are a good alternative to personal car ownership. However, the majority - 56% - still consider these services as a supplement to personal ownership.

The report’s authors believe that such changes in consumer behavior should force automakers to urgently change their strategy for selling and promoting cars - both for private owners and for using new mobile services. Director of Automotive Research Capgemini Kai Grambow said: "Now we are experiencing a golden era of auto sales, but it is obvious that all this will not last long in this form. Car brands understand that they need to respond to changing consumer behavior. Arrival of new mobile services will not only give a new source of revenue, but will also increase brand awareness and translate brand relationships with consumers into a new stage of development".