Auto Execs Predict Industry Trends: Survey

Sami Haj-Assaad
by Sami Haj-Assaad

Fuel efficiency is on everyone’s minds, including top automotive brass. In a new report by the analysts at KPMG, current and future industry trends are unveiled by top auto execs.

Two-hundred automotive execs were surveyed for the 2013 Global Automotive Executive Survey ,which shares quite a few interesting details that could shape the next generation of vehicles and technology. Something that’s more than obvious is that 92% of industry execs believe that fuel efficiency is the number one purchase criteria for consumers when it comes to buying a new car. Following that thought, 85 percent of execs believe that downsizing their vehicle engines will help to deliver the best fuel efficiency.

Continuing discussion on engine trends, 36 percent of execs think that plug-in electric vehicles (like the Chevrolet Volt pictured above) will attract more consumers, and 24 percent of automotive execs are considering making big investments for plug-in hybrids. Overall, 85 percent of execs are planning to make big investments in battery tech, which could be for plug-in hybrids, electric vehicles or normal hybrids.

A key concern for the execs surveyed is how to increase business, and grow their companies. One overwhelming thought is that new products are the way to grow, as 88 percent of respondents said. In addition, 72 percent are anticipating alternatives to car ownership (like car sharing) while 68 percent also say that adding value services is a key way to gain business. Finally, 83 percent say that the new urban environment will lead to different vehicle design, possibly hinting at the importance of smaller cars.

The report also states a few ideas of what will be happening to shape the industry next, with 81 percent of the respondents expecting to see VW increasing its market share. Additionally, expect more collaborations as 80 percent believe that corporate partnerships are the key to success. Finally, the report states that luxury car sales are expected to rise this year for the first time since 2008.

The report also has some grim statistics, like how 12 percent of execs do not know how their R&D budgets are allocated, or how there isn’t a common solution to automakers producing more vehicles than they can sell.

It will be interesting to see if these thoughts and responses from execs and industry professionals pan out. With an emphasis on battery tech, and urban designs, the future is sure be full of smaller vehicles with smaller engines.

[Source: KPMG]

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Sami Haj-Assaad
Sami Haj-Assaad

Sami has an unquenchable thirst for car knowledge and has been at AutoGuide for the past six years. He has a degree in journalism and media studies from the University of Guelph-Humber in Toronto and has won multiple journalism awards from the Automotive Journalist Association of Canada. Sami is also on the jury for the World Car Awards.

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