Dropping oil prices place demand for battery-powered cars in the parking lot

KPMG survey: despite consumer trends, tech innovation low on auto execs' agenda

TORONTO, Feb. 13, 2015 /CNW/ - Battery-electric mobility faces a decline in popularity as automotive executives focus on traditional trends including optimizing the internal combustion engine (ICE) and growing in emerging markets, according to KPMG's 2015 Global Automotive Executive Survey. Increasingly strict regulatory standards will maintain the focus on improving current engines while declining oil prices are negatively impacting the appeal of electric mobility and battery-powered alternatives.

With this increasing focus on traditional concerns and decline in e-vehicle interest, the survey also found less emphasis is being placed on newer, industry-changing developments such as self-driving cars, connectivity, urban vehicle design and mobility services. This identifies a major disconnect between the priorities of industry executives and their increasingly tech-savvy target customers who are demanding cutting-edge, connected car solutions.

Key survey findings – what matters to Canadian drivers?

  • Traditional automotive players, watch out for new tech competitors – with low importance placed on tech innovation, traditional original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are left highly vulnerable to potentially fierce competition from market disrupting tech companies who understand tech-savvy consumer demands and are eager to attract the connected customer of tomorrow.

  • The end of an era: small cars increasingly more coveted than big – with a continued focus on urban living and fuel efficiency, 92 per cent of North American respondents forecast an increased demand for small and basic cars, with high growth potential in established and emerging markets over the next five years, while sales are predicted to decrease for the large car segment in mature markets.

  • Self-driving cars won't be on Canadian roads as soon as we think – the self-driving market will likely not succeed without overcoming critical legal and liability issues associated with driverless motoring, and the notion of self-driving cars may be more distant than media buzz suggests. North American auto execs believe it will take over 20 years before self-driving vehicles are commonly seen on the road. In Japan and Korea there is greater hope, with an expected time span of 11 to 20 years.

  • Product recalls force consumers to pay more attention to safety – concerns over vehicle quality have risen following several high-profile product recalls, with more customers seeking vehicles with longer lifespans and safety innovations. OEMs must maintain a careful balance between product quality and cost optimization.

  • Hyundai/Kia pulls ahead in the brand race – when asked which companies will most likely gain market share through to 2020, 78 per cent of respondents chose Hyundai/Kia followed by Volkswagen Group at 75 per cent.


"Auto executives in North America and around the world are focused on traditional concerns such as optimization of fuel-driven combustion engines and cost efficiency programs. They are trusting that emerging markets will be the main growth drivers of our sector for a long time to come."

Peter Hatges, National Automotive Sector Leader, KPMG

"Relying on traditional trends could leave major auto players highly vulnerable to new competitors eager to attract the never-offline customer of today with continued innovation in mobility services and vehicle connectivity technologies."

Peter Hatges, National Automotive Sector Leader, KPMG

"More and more car consumers are expecting vehicle manufacturers to surprise and delight them by integrating new and innovative services and mobile apps into the car driving experience.  In a lot of ways, the car is the final frontier – following the home and the office. Traditional automotive players must reassess their priorities to keep abreast of consumer demands and stay ahead of the game."

Peter Hatges, National Automotive Sector Leader, KPMG


2015 Global Automotive Executive Survey
KPMG Website
@KPMG_Canada #CIAS2015
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About KPMG's Global Automotive Executive Survey

The Global Automotive Executive Survey is KPMG International's annual assessment of the current state and future prospects of the worldwide automotive industry. In this year's survey, 200 senior executives from the world's leading automotive companies were interviewed, including automakers, suppliers, dealers, financial services providers, rental companies and mobility solution providers.

About KPMG

KPMG LLP, an Audit, Tax and Advisory firm (kpmg.ca) and a Canadian limited liability partnership established under the laws of Ontario, is the Canadian member firm of KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"). KPMG member firms around the world have 162,000 professionals, in 155 countries.

The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International, a Swiss entity. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity, and describes itself as such.


Image with caption: "Key findings from KPMG's Global Automotive Executive Survey 2015 (CNW Group/KPMG LLP)". Image available at: https://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150213_C3812_PHOTO_EN_12140.jpg

For further information: Kira Froese, National Manager, Communications, KPMG in Canada, 416.777.8928, kjfroese@kpmg.ca; Kimberly Armstrong, National Coordinator, Communications, KPMG in Canada, 419.777.8916, kimberlyarmstrong@kpmg.ca


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