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A new relationship - people and cars


How consumers around the world want cars to fit their lives

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Digital technologies, lifestyle expectations and personal mobility options are changing the outlook on how consumers will move around and what they expect from companies that support them. Changes in how people move from one point to another and their levels of “digital mobility interest” determine how open and ready consumers are for future mobility solutions. Clearly, auto industry executives have a tremendous stake in understanding what current and future automotive (auto) consumers already do, as well as what they say they plan to do.

For this second part of our “Auto 2025” series, we surveyed consumers to develop an informed view of how they will own and use vehicles over the next decade. This report reveals important consumer perspectives, based on a survey of 16,469 consumers in 16 countries. In search of greater effectiveness, efficiency and safety, they expect intuitive, automated and personalized mobility experiences through digital capabilities and services. Consumers also expressed a greater desire to both co-create mobility solutions and buy vehicles through preferred channels and ecosystem participants.

One recurring and notable difference of opinion: consumers in growth markets were consistently more eager to try vehicle and mobility innovations – they base their decisions on perceived value, rather than mature market consumers who seem content to wait for proven value. The reaction of consumers in growth markets to new technology can be summed up as a “When can I have it?” mentality. Those in mature markets were more hesitant, with responses that reflect the question, “Why do I need it?

Our first Auto 2025 report, “Automotive 2025: Industry without borders” featured the opinions of 175 global industry executives, including OEMs and suppliers. It suggested three disruptors to the industry over the next decade: empowered consumers, changing mobility models and a transforming ecosystem.

In this new report is our analysis of what more than 16,000 consumers worldwide said about the industry – particularly, how they personally expect to use vehicles in the next ten years. Even the meaning of “driving” is expanding much beyond “steering a vehicle” as the consumer’s relationship with the car is changing. In the future, the car will know who the occupants are, make decisions for them, and even be a trusted companion. Consumers are eager to welcome the car as another smart device – albeit one weighing 3,000 pounds – that is embedded in the Internet of Things (IoT).


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Meet the authors

Kal Gyimesi

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, Automotive industry Marketing Leader, IBM Software Group


Ben Stanley, Automotive Research Leader, IBM Institute for Business Value