The majority of motorists are willing to spend an additional $500 (R7,350) when buying a vehicle to upgrade from petrol/diesel to a car that runs on alternative energy.
On the other hand, these same motorists would not spend this same amount of money to get the highest-end infotainment systems and connectivity features when buying the same vehicle.
This is according to a recent consumer study by Deloitte that took place between September and October 2021 and included over 26,000 participants from 25 countries, with 1,011 of the individuals being from South Africa.
The report gauges consumer opinion on several factors of the automotive industry, including advanced technologies, connected vehicles, and online vehicle shopping.
The Deloitte study questioned consumers on whether they would pay an additional $500 – or an equivalent amount in their domestic currency – when buying a car to get one of the following upgrades:
- Autonomy features
- More safety features
- More connectivity features
- More infotainment features
- Alternative energy solutions
Among the countries surveyed, there was quite a stark difference between what the regions will and will not pay for.
Countries including the United States (U.S.), Germany, and Japan are the most unwilling to pay the additional amount, with between 53-86% of respondents stating that they would not pay the $500 to get any of the upgrades.
Conversely, individuals from South Korea, China, India, and Southeast Asia are more willing to get these perks, with between 22-69% of respondents stating that they would pay the extra $500 to get at least one of the upgrades.
“A majority of consumers are unwilling to pay more for advanced technologies in most global markets as they have been trained to expect new vehicle features as a cost of doing business for brands looking to differentiate themselves from their competitors,” said Deloitte.
Personal data for safer roads
Japan, South Korea, China, India, and Southeast Asia said they’ll give up personal data to get a “connected vehicle” if it meant getting in-car updates that improve road safety and prevent potential collisions.
On the other hand, the U.S. and Germany said they would prefer if their connected vehicle gives maintenance updates and health reporting.
However, across all regions, between 55-83% of the respondents agreed they would give up personal data in exchange for in-car updates regarding traffic congestion and safer alternative routes.
Other popular features that motorists want in their connected vehicles included customised insurance plans, maintenance cost forecasts, suggestions on minimising maintenance costs, and parking availability notifications.
“Depending on the market, consumers will share personal data in exchange for less congested and safer routes, and vehicle health reporting/lower maintenance costs,” said Deloitte.
Covid-19 and online shopping
Between 25-64% of survey participants in the various regions said the Covid-19 pandemic had an impact on their decision to purchase a vehicle.
This has seen interest in virtual vehicle sales growing, although most consumers still prefer an in-person buying experience.
Between 68-80% of respondents said they want to buy a car in person, 15-23% said they prefer a partly-virtual experience, and 3-10% said they would like to go fully virtual.
Only 1-7% of participants said they do not know how they want to buy their next car.
“Most consumers would still prefer to purchase a vehicle at an authorized dealership. However, a perception of increased convenience and ease of use will likely support continued growth of virtual purchase processes,” said Deloitte.