The level of purchase interest among vehicle owners with smartphones for device/application link technology to connect and integrate their smartphones with their vehicles infotainment systems continues to rise for very practical reasons, according to our 2013 U.S. Automotive Emerging Technologies Study.
Vehicle owners’ interest in connectivity and, in particular, the smartphone device/application link feature, is all about functionality. Research conducted by J.D. Power’s Consumer Insight and Strategy Group to track social media discussions about new technologies, including device/application link, suggests that consumers believe their in-vehicle infotainment systems lack the technology that their smartphones and tablets have.
Consumers also desire more mobile apps and want the capability to control their own software updates to integrate with their vehicle systems. Another interesting discovery from social media conversations on this topic is that consumers want their vehicle infotainment systems to be powered by their smartphone in order to avoid an additional monthly charge as well as to keep their technology up to date. Continue reading ›
Recently, Mohit Arora, executive director of J.D. Power Asia Pacific in Singapore, offered some insight, advice and tips on tire safety, cost efficiencies and ride comfort, based on J.D. Power tire customer satisfaction research in India. Some highlights from Mohit’s discussion related to analysis and research from the 2013 India Original Equipment Tire Customer Satisfaction Index (TCSI) Study are excerpted.
Arora begins by asking three key questions related to tires that customers in India should consider and then offers insight, tips and advice based on J.D. Power Asia Pacific tire studies and research.
• Fuel Economy—Excessive fuel consumption has always been the top reported problem in our studies and will continue to be so in light of rising fuel costs. Does the average car owner in India know how to optimize fuel economy from their tires?
• Importance of Tire Rotation—Some 40% of drivers report that they do not rotate their tires in an ownership period of 12 to 24 months. Tire rotation impacts fuel economy, tire durability and driving safety. Why is tire rotation important and at what frequency should it be done?
• Run-Flat Tires—Nearly three-fourths of respondents say that run-flat tires are very important and express a need for them. Does the average driver actually know what run-flat tires are and why they are needed? Continue reading ›
The market share of premium vehicles in India is miniscule. However, premium brand automakers are aiming to increase share by building smaller, locally built, lower-priced models. This trend towards downsizing is not new, but it is likely to be more pronounced in India, which is probably one of the most cost-conscious markets in the world. Also, it’s evident globally that luxury vehicle makers have been moving toward smaller-size models for a number of reasons.
Jonathan Poskitt, head of European Sales Forecasting at LMC Automotive, points out, “There are a few important reasons why premiums have been expanding into smaller segments. One has been that premium brands aim to incrementally increase market
share. To do this there was a renewed focus on smaller cars, both by premium brands and the wider market generally, when European Union CO2 legislation became more concrete late in the last decade.”
In addition to what Poskitt has mentioned, regulatory measures are also partly driving the need for more localization in India. In this year’s Budget 2013, India’s Finance Minister raised the import duty for luxury cars to 100%, from 75%. Continue reading ›
China’s passenger-vehicle sales ended the first quarter with a double-digit gain from the same quarter a year ago, mainly due to new product launches, increases in luxury or premium brand sales, in addition to dealer incentives, based on analysis and data from J.D. Power’s strategic partner LMC Automotive.
A 14% gain in passenger-vehicle sales to 1.43 million units during March bolstered first-quarter totals. First-quarter light-vehicle sales in China rose by 15% from the same period in 2012 to 5.44 million units.
SUVs and Luxury Cars Create Enthusiasm in China Market
The best-performing segment in China during the quarter was the SUV segment, which saw sales surge by 43% from the same quarter in 2012. New product launches added momentum to demand in this category. Continue reading ›
In April, two light-truck segments—large pickups and compact crossovers (CUVs)—outpaced the industry’s 4.3% increase significantly and each gained nearly 2 more percentage points of market share, while the largest-volume midsize sedan segment lost favor and nearly 2 points of share in the U.S. market during the month.
Compact crossovers (CUVs) soared by 22.4% in April and garnered a 12.9% share of industry sales in the U.S. market—up from 11.0% a year ago. These small vehicles outsold large pickups in April, which also captured a larger 11.9% share of sales, up from 10.2% a year ago. Large pickup deliveries roared ahead 22% in the past month vs. April 2012.
Midsize sedans and coupes, one of the most overcrowded and competitive of 22 segments, saw sales dip 5.9% from a year ago. The U.S. market’s highest-volume segment’s share slipped to 16.4% from 18.2% in April 2012. Also, model dominance in this segment has been moving around. Two months ago, in March, the Nissan Altima was the monthly sales leader, while in April, the Honda Accord led the pack of midsize cars, even with lower sales than in the same month a year ago. Perennial sales leader Toyota Camry ranked second in sales during these months, although Camry was still the midsize sedan sales leader through the first four months of 2013. Continue reading ›
Mainstream adoption of technology is making a big difference in the way auto insurance customers in Canada interact with their insurance provider, according to our 2013 Canadian Auto Insurance Satisfaction Study, which is based on responses from 11,257 auto insurance policyholders in Canada.
An increasing number of consumers are going to the Web for their first point of contact to gather information, according to our 2013 study. This year, the percentage of customers using non-traditional channels, such as an auto insurance provider’s website, has increased by as much as 7 percentage points from 2012, and now accounts for as much as one-third of all customer interactions, depending on the particular region.
Among customers who contact their insurance company, nearly one-half (49%)—including those of agent/broker-based insurers (43%) and direct insurers (57%)—use multiple channels to contact their provider. Continue reading ›
New car and light-truck sales in the U.S. market in April were weaker than expected, mainly due to slower fleet sales, according to analysis by J.D. Power and Associates’ Power Information Network® (PIN) and its strategic partner, LMC Automotive. On a bright note, sales of compact crossovers and large pickups in April outperformed the industry’s increase nearly fourfold.
Total sales (retail and fleet) in April edged up 4.3% from a year ago on a selling-day adjusted basis*, and the April seasonally adjusted annual selling rate (SAAR) averaged 14.9 million units—the slowest pace since October 2012. It was the first time in the first four months of the year that the pace dipped below 15.0 million units.
Retail sales were slightly better than anticipated, finishing the month at 1.032 million units, which was an increase of 9.1% from April 2012 on a selling-day adjusted basis. The retail SAAR was 12.1 million units, which was significantly stronger than last April’s 10.6 million-unit pace, and was 100,000 units stronger than the pace in March. Continue reading ›
U.S. light-vehicle sales in April 2013 were set to reach 1.286 million unit sales, which would be up 4% from a year ago on a selling-day adjusted basis,* according to an update from J.D. Power and Associates and its strategic partner, LMC Automotive. The sales rate in April would translate to a slightly lower 14.9 million-unit seasonally-adjusted selling pace.
Early automaker reports indicate that sales (unadjusted) will rise about 9% from a year ago, partly due to higher demand for large pickups and compact crossovers.
The Detroit Three led sales gains with double-digit increases from April 2012. They outpaced two of their top-volume Japan-based rivals—Toyota and Honda Groups. In early results, the third major Japanese automaker, Nissan Group, reported one of the best year-over-year gains—sales were up 23% on an unadjusted basis from April 2012.
Demand was particularly strong for large pickups with improvement in the housing and construction markets. The resilience of the U.S. consumer’s pent-up demand also bolstered sales, according to Jeff Schuster, senior vice president of forecasting at LMC Automotive. He said consumer spending remains remarkably stronger than the economy suggests it should be. Continue reading ›
By 2025, it is likely that more than one-third (36%) of new passenger vehicles in the world market will be equipped with alternative powertrains, according to a forecast from J.D. Power’s strategic partner LMC Automotive. That means that some 30 million of about 110 million passenger vehicles forecast to be sold in 2025 will rely on alternative powertrains and alternative fuels.
A majority of this group of fuel-efficient powertrains (17.5%) are expected to be hybrids—those passenger vehicles incorporating hybrid gasoline/electric powertrains (HEVs) such as the Toyota Prius and plug-in hybrids (PHEVs), which rely on both electric batteries and a gasoline engine, such as the Chevrolet Volt. Plug-in electric hybrids will account for a 5% share and gasoline/electric hybrids will make up 12.5% of the product mix. Only 2.5% of the world’s passenger-vehicle mix will be electric vehicles (EVs), such as the pure electric Nissan LEAF, in 2025. Continue reading ›
The concept of a self-driving system in a car, or what is termed autonomous driving mode, is no longer considered “outside the box” for vehicle owners. In fact, Google’s pilot self-driving vehicles are legal in Mountain View, CA, near Google headquarters. In addition to California, self-driving cars are also now legal in two other states: Nevada and Florida.
We see that awareness of this new technology is higher than a year ago. In spite of a $3,000 suggested market price, we see that “probable” and “definite” interest in equipping an owner’s next vehicle with this new technology is slightly higher, according to the results from our 2013 U.S. Automotive Emerging Technologies Study, than it was last year—21% vs. 20% in 2012.
Both “probable” and “definite” interest in having this emerging technology in an owner’s next vehicle rises to 39% before a market price is introduced.
Interest in some of the other “advanced” emerging technologies takes a back seat to autonomous driving mode when market pricing is introduced. For instance, the percentage of vehicle owners interested in having biometrics (including finger print car locks and stress level monitors for heart rate or blood pressure) in their next vehicle falls from 52% before a price is presented to just 20% after a market price of $350 is shown. Additionally, interest in customizable home screen technology that provides consumers options on information to be displayed on the vehicle’s center stack screen plummets from 72% to just 17% when a $1,250 market price is provided. Continue reading ›