US Insights

New Insights and Opportunities of Connected Cars 2019

Paul Crispell

U.S. Connected Car Lead

Brands 12.19.2019 / 12:00

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Connectivity is still lacking real-world relevance for many. It remains one of the least important factors taken into consideration when buying a car.

Kantar has revisited its Connected Car study to assess whether consumers and automakers alike are making the most of technological advancements in the automotive industry. Have connected car owners gained a better understanding of the benefits they can access? Have car manufacturers leveraged the opportunities for growth that were identified in our original report?

The latest report reveals further insights and highlights new opportunities with a focus on nine countries spanning several European markets, the United States and China. It summarises the four key findings from 2017, followed by the 2019 updates, allowing a simple, direct comparison between the two.

In four key areas, the study finds:

  • Connectivity is still lackingreal-world relevancefor many. It remains one of the least important factors taken into consideration when buying a car with only 9% of the aggregated data.
  • Awareness of connectivity is showing a healthy rise, particularly in Europe and the U.S. On average, the level of awareness of connected capability increased in Europe and the U.S. by around 10% to 15% points in just two years.
  • Usage of connected-car features is growing, particularly in Spain, Germany and the U.K. with China still leading the way. About three quarters of connected-car drivers now use at least one of the features available. That is a moderate growth compared to 2017.
  • The idea that people put more trust in car brands to keep private data confidential than any of the big tech companies is reinforced in 2019. In Germany, five times as many people lean towards car brands than towards tech giants.

In the survey of 4,500 connected car owners, we also found: 

  • The willingness to buy connected cars is growing in most markets. A littleover 50%of Americans are willing to buy a car with connected features, while in Spain and China, this is closer to80%.
  • The wish list of in-car online services is stable in time except for voice-command features. With highest increases seen in China, followed by Spain (23% to 35%). Only the U.S. has a more modest growth rate, showing just a 1% increase.
  • Explanation and demonstration of connected features at the dealership are more frequent compared to two years ago. On average, two out of three driversare now aware their car is a connected one.
  • Features made popular over the past 10 years by the world’s tech giants, e.g. voice assistants and app user interfaces are now desirable additions to the driving experience.

Kantar has discovered that car manufacturers (OEMs) have made progress to leverage the opportunities to value up the connected features they put on board and make customers willing to ask for them. The new study provides a rich source of information about the most effective ways to engage drivers and to increase the appeal of Connected features to make them more contributing to an impactful customer experience.

The full report can be found at: https://go.tnsglobal.com/connected-car-2019

Source: Kantar

Editor's Notes

Fieldwork was conducted in June 2019, consisting of online interviews with 4,500 connected car owners, 500 in each of the following markets: the U.S., UK, China, Germany, France, Spain, Sweden, Norway and Denmark. This study looks at fewer markets and has smaller samples compared to the one conducted in 2017 (8,500 connected car owners across 13 markets).

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