With every passing year, smart car technology becomes more of a deal-breaker with consumers. From safety features to voice technology, the options get more compelling – and non-vehicle digital tech keeps elevating car buyers’ expectations. If they can have it at their desks or on their couches, why should they expect less for their vehicles?
A generational chasm over smart car tech
In GfK’s latest Auto Tech Insights research for the US market, 8 in 10 US auto intenders – those who plan to buy or lease a new vehicle – say they would “probably” or “definitely” consider abandoning a favorite vehicle or automaker to get the latest smart car technology. The figures are startling, but we should not be surprised. Brand loyalty has its limits, and a lot depends on what is at stake – dollar savings, or self-image, or even pure whim and indulgence.
Smart technology has altered the consumer landscape. Ten years ago, who knew that everyday shoppers would soon pay $1,000 for a new phone, or hundreds of dollars a month just for TV and internet service? Always-on access and the devices that go with it have come to define us as consumers – even more, some would say, than the cars we drive or the clothes we wear.
This is true not just in the US, but around the world, where we see that technology performance is a driver of the rich experiences consumers crave. Global Point of Sale (POS) data from GfK shows that smartphones with large (6” to 7”) displays captured 73% of all category sales in the first three quarters of 2019, while PCs with full HD accounted for 79% of sales in that vertical. And GfK Consumer Life research shows that almost half of global consumers say they are prepared to pay more

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