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Car ownership still important despite mobility movement, finds Arthur D. Little

Car desire and ownership remains strong, while drivers are now much more willing to embrace alternative drivetrains, though trust in autonomous technology has taken a dive, according to Arthur D. Little’s (ADL) new worldwide automotive market report.

ADL - worldwide automotive market report

ADL – worldwide automotive market report

The report concludes that drivers are now much more amenable to adopting electric vehicles, which will impact manufacturer and engine strategies and push more rapid development of infrastructure such as charging solutions.

Despite an obvious move by car and policy makers to embrace ideologies such as car sharing, half of respondents agreed that owning a car was still important – almost the same number as in 2015. Independence, comfort and convenience remained top reasons.

Openness to peer-to-peer sharing of private cars dropped globally, from 25% to 23%, although it grew slightly in China (42%) and the US (29%).

58% of those surveyed were willing to spend more for hybrids and 50% for EVs. Of those planning to replace their car, 48% said they’d consider an EV (BEV, hybrid or plugin hybrid), 36% a petrol-engined vehicle and 12% diesel.

Klaus Schmitz, partner with Arthur D. Little explained: “While attachment to car ownership remains high, meaning the overall automotive market will remain stable, the switch to alternative drivetrains and new mobility options will disrupt manufacturers, with EV driver demand exceeding currently planned capabilities and ecosystem readiness.”

However, the report also highlighted concerns around autonomous vehicles (AVs), with trust in the technology weakening from 64% to 57% of drivers saying they’d use full AVs. 44% said AVs would replace private cars for short, urban trips and 29% replace public transport – affecting city mobility strategies.

Safety was not the major concern, with the report citing data and privacy concerns as being a major reason why trust has dipped; 59% of US drivers said security worries would prevent them using advanced autonomous driving functions.

Wolf-Dieter Hoppe, partner with Arthur D. Little comments: “Drivers in all countries we surveyed except China are becoming much more sensitive around private data. In the long run, protecting this data will become a key competitive differentiator for manufacturers and providers of mobility solutions.”

The ADL Global Automotive Study surveyed over 8,000 drivers in 13 countries – a summary is available here: www.adl.com/FOAM

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Jonathan Musk

Jonathan turned to motoring journalism in 2013 having founded, edited and produced Autovolt - one of the UK's leading electric car publications. He has also written and produced books on both Ferrari and Hispano-Suiza, while working as an international graphic designer for the past 15 years. As the automotive industry moves towards electrification, Jonathan brings a near-unrivalled knowledge of EVs and hybrids to Fleet World Group.