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Consumers warm to auto tech, but at a price

News, 21 June 2017
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DETROIT: Consumers in five key auto markets welcome the prospect of advanced technology in their next vehicle, but there is a limit as to how much they are willing to pay, a new survey has found.

That is according to IHS Markit, a specialist automotive industry research firm, which polled more than 5,000 vehicle owners who intend to buy a new one within the next 36 months.

Covering the US, Canada, China, Germany and the UK, the survey tested consumers' views on 31 technologies, including rear seat entertainment systems, in-vehicle wi-fi and telematics – or long distance information systems.

It emerged that creature comforts topped the list of technologies that respondents would be willing to pay for, although there were differences across the markets surveyed.

Consumers in four regions would invest in sun roof and moon roof technology, with those in Germany prepared to pay an additional $642 to have their next vehicle fitted with it, while Chinese consumers would pay an extra $440.

However, US consumers were more interested in rear seat entertainment systems, indicating they would pay an extra $640, while the technology ranked second in the UK and China.

According to IHS Markit forecasts, a significant majority of new vehicles will be equipped with telematics by 2022, including more than 90% in Germany and the UK, yet not many consumers seemed willing to pay for it.

Only a third (32%) of all respondents agreed that telematics would be a feature they would be willing to pay for in their next new vehicle, while just 29% would pay for in-car wi-fi.

Among other findings, the survey also found that 32% of respondents globally pointed to roadside assistance as the most important telematics feature in a new vehicle, with stolen vehicle assistance important for 28%.

Commenting on the report, IHS Markit analyst Colin Bird, said: "Consumers expect a lot from their next vehicle. Their expectations are constantly evolving as well, as consumers expect development and implementation of these technologies in vehicles to be introduced as quickly as consumer electronics such as smartphones and tablets.

"It's up to OEMs [original equipment manufacturers] and suppliers to determine how to best address these challenges and ramp up business plans accordingly."

Data sourced from IHS Markit; additional content by WARC staff

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