Consumers Want Green Vehicles to Offer More Than Fuel Savings

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.

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.

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.