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Consumers Want Green Vehicles to Offer More Than Fuels Savings, Accenture Finds

March 08, 2010
In-vehicle services to be key purchase factor for tomorrow’s consumer
NEW YORK; March 8, 2010 -- While interest in alternative vehicles may be growing, consumers do not see ‘green’ as the only purchasing factor and are demanding more from automakers, according to an Accenture (NYSE: ACN) study released today.  
 
Accenture’s survey showed that six out of 10 consumers are more likely to buy a hybrid or electric vehicle only when it is superior to gasoline-only models in every way, so while automakers are increasingly focused on addressing the demand for greater fuel efficiency and economy they should also address those areas that continue to influence the consumer.  ‘Green’ is not enough by itself.
 
In-vehicle services which satisfy different customer needs including commerce, entertainment, safety, maintenance, communication and infomobility (i.e., navigation) will not only be key influences on consumer choice but will also play a key factor in the development of more fuel efficient vehicles.
 
“Our study suggests that while consumers are increasingly embracing and understanding the value of alternative vehicles they still want models that represent a new phase in the evolution of the automobile. In-vehicle services will play a key part in this and car manufacturers have an opportunity now to ramp up their capabilities in this area to achieve competitive differentiation.” said Luca Mentuccia, managing director of Accenture’s Automotive group.  “Both OEMs and suppliers need to start building strategic partnerships that will lead to distinctive capabilities, particularly around safety, environmental protection and entertainment.”
 
The Accenture study surveyed more than 1,800 consumers and indicates that interests in attributes other than fuel efficiency is increasing, as just 36 percent of respondents cited higher gas prices as a reason to buy a green car.  Moreover, those that have driven a hybrid or electric vehicle rate fuel efficiency as being very good to excellent, but most rate the ride, performance, style and maintenance as good at best.  
 
Forty-two percent of the respondents said they are likely to buy a hybrid or electric auto in the next two years. (This rose to a high of 62 percent in Italy).  Most of these (80 percent) are more likely to buy hybrids than all-electric vehicles.
 
Accenture has also a new point of view on in-vehicle services (defined as In-Vehicle Infotainment or IVI) which is a view of the European marketplace and is available by clicking here: Accenture In-Vehicle Infotainment.
 
Methodology
The study was based upon market research and an online survey conducted by Accenture of 1,850 consumers in five countries, including Germany, France, Italy, the United States and Canada in February 2010.  The respondents ranged in age from 18 to 61 years and over, and were a near even split between male (52 percent) and female (48 percent) consumers.
 
Editor’s Note
A fact sheet that demonstrates each country’s percentage of respondents based on survey questions follows this news release.
 
About Accenture
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with more than 176,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments.  The company generated net revenues of US$21.58 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2009.  Its home page is www.accenture.com.
 
Contact:
 
Benedict Payne
Accenture
+44-20-7844-0440
+1-703-421-2050
 
Cam Granstra
Accenture
+1-312-693-5992
 
Val Brown
Accenture
+1-313-204-5699
 

Accenture Global Auto Consumer Survey – Fact Sheet
March 2010
 
Overview – Accenture’s survey showed that six out of 10 consumers are more likely to buy a hybrid or electric vehicle only when it is superior to gasoline-only models in every way, so while automakers are increasingly focused on addressing the demand for greater fuel efficiency and economy they should also address those areas that continue to influence the consumer.  ‘Green’ is not enough by itself.
 
Methodology - Accenture surveyed 1,850 consumers in five countries, including Germany, France, Italy, the United States and Canada, to gain insight into hybrid and electric vehicle buying preferences. The respondents ranged in age from 18 to 61 years and over. In terms of gender, there was a near-even split between male (52 percent) and female (48 percent) consumers. Key findings per country are:
 
Survey Question
Germany % of Respondents
France % of Respondents
Italy % of Respondents
U.S./Canada % of Respondents
More likely to buy a hybrid or electric vehicle that is better than a fuel-only car in every way
74%
55%
46%
65%
Rate the fuel efficiency of a hybrid or electric car very good to excellent, but rate ride, performance, style and maintenance as good
59%
64%
45%
74%
More likely to buy a hybrid or electric vehicle in the next two years
29%
51%
62%
31%
More likely to purchase a hybrid in the next two years
67%
63%
71%
70%
More likely to buy an electric car in the next two years
17%
22%
19%
5%
Everyone should own a hybrid or electric car
21%
39%
57%
26%
Would pay nothing more for a hybrid or electric car compared to a fuel-only vehicle
45%
52%
46%
56%
Desire a payback time for a hybrid or electric car purchase to be five years or less
64%
83%
73%
82%
Assuming a hybrid or electric vehicle could run on an electric charge for 200 miles, want the driving distance between re-charging points to be every 11 to 50 miles
55%
44%
52%
20%
Want re-charging to take less than 20 minutes
72%
73%
69%
50%
 
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